Sir Dave Brailsford CBE

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Team Sky

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Dave led the GB cycling squad to eight gold medals in Beijing and London. He also coached Wiggins and Froome to Tour de France victory. Dave explains that “You don’t make winners, you help them focus and optimise their natural talent.” Leaders have to learn to deal with different people, get them to put aside any issues they might have with one another, create the right environment for them to do their job and push for constant, marginal improvement.


As Cycling Performance Director at Beijing, Dave Brailsford was widely credited as the driving force behind Team GB’s phenomenal results. Dave himself was crowned BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year and this supreme success was repeated at London 2012; the team stormed home with twelve medals, including eight golds.

After a short period as a professional cyclist, Dave studied sports science and psychology along with an MBA. He remained involved in cycling and became an advisor to the newly established British Cycling, the governing body of the sport. In time he was charged with preparing the team for the Olympics.

In presentations Dave highlights the importance of focus, motivation and teamwork - and how leaders have to learn to deal with different people and different reactions to success and failure. Drawing on his experience in sports science, he explains that motivation comes from within: “You don’t make winners, you help them to focus and optimise their natural talents.”

David also refers to ‘Podium Coaching.’ This relates to the crucial role that a coach plays in an athlete’s career. If we expect a competitor to become one of the best in the world, then we must expect the same of their coach. This ethos has been borne out at Team Sky, where Dave is General Manager, which has produced two successive Tour de France winners, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

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