• The Athlete Welfare Podcast

  • By: Fin Kelly
  • Podcast
  • Summary

  • Join me, Fin Kelly, as I regularly explore athlete welfare and its relationship with performance by talking with sport and fitness practitioners. We gain insights into processes, outcomes, expectations, constraints and philosophies. I am a 20-year-old Open University student and Rugby Coach. I am not a specialist or attempting to be an expert. I aim to feed my and others’ curiosity and offer an honest, youthful perspective of a developing professional in order to spread information and approaches to athlete welfare. I appreciate great conversations and all things alike. I am lucky and grateful for the opportunity to talk too many of the people that will feature on my show. Why should I keep great conversation and guests knowledge to myself? For me, everyone can benefit and we can all learn together.
    © 2021 The Athlete Welfare Podcast
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  • Damian McGrath

    Jul 29 2021

    In this episode of The Athlete Welfare Podcast, I recorded episode #044 with Damian McGrath, the current Head Coach of Germany Rugby 7s. 

    Previously Damian has also been involved at Rugby Canada, Samoa Rugby Union, England Rugby, England Rugby 7s, Great British Sevens, WRU, Huddersfield Giants, Spanish Rugby, Leicester Tigers, The Rugby Football League, London Broncos, Leeds Rhinos, and Batley Bulldogs.

    With this wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experiences, myself and Damian delved into some very interesting points. 

    Damian made consistent references to positivity within an environment that accepts the ability to try new things, as long as these attempts can be justified, where vulnerability and resilience are implemented vastly, where all staff and athletes are challenged in the correct way, and when trust = comfort = interactions = positive welfare. 

    I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Damian's experiences as a teacher and how his own experiences as a student, have impacted his philosophy and approach to teaching, and in turn his technique adopted into coaching. 

    It is clear that for Damian, that he focuses on the interactions, connections, and the journey more than anything else. 
    This is recognised by the definite factor that Damian will talk positively to every player before training, on a 1-1 basis. 

    It was also quite refreshing to hear that Damian has been referred to as a father-figure, particularly when Damian openly demonstrates an intrinsic connection to the way that he his as a father, and the way that he coaches. Damian ensures that he looks after everyone, as his own. 

    Lastly, to ask Damian what his understanding of Athlete Welfare is, and to hear that there is no such thing as just Athlete Welfare, is inspirational. As, Damian defines that he secures Welfare for everyone involved within the environment, as everyone has a major part to play on the field. He stated that to develop the environments off the field, as well as welfare, pays major diligence to that of the performance on the pitch. 

    This really sets the tone for this incredible conversation.

    I hope you all enjoy todays conversation,

    The Athlete Welfare Podcast x Fin Kelly

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    1 hr and 3 mins
  • Jack Green

    Jul 26 2021

    In this episode of The Athlete Welfare Podcast, I collaborate with Jack Green OLY, of Champion Health UK, and previously part of the BBC Studios, Nike and British Olympic Association  as we recorded #043.

    Throughout this conversation, Jack made constant referrals to his own experiences and challenges with Mental Health Diagnosis's. This represented a strong core to our conversation whilst Jack also made it clear that although he has been considered a threat to his own life, and now worked through this, he still has days where he struggles. 

    We determined that Mental Health is a part of us, and nothing is wrong with it if we struggle. Together, we can accept this is simply part of our characteristics and we should be open to discussing this just like a physical injury. 

    We further discussed confronting the fear of failure through carefully considered management, representing an all or nothing brutality, a mindset where Jack must be the best in the world no matter the impact caused to himself or others, and the fact that he considers himself to have been living a lie. 

    I found it interesting to hear that we all have a duty of care when it comes to welfare, particularly within performance. 

    Jack referred to the difficulty within elite sport, where on-lookers don't see emotions, as success papers over the cracks, nor do they recognise the sacrifices one undergoes, but also the detrimental factors of comparisons. 

    Finally, Jack discussed his experiences of feeling lost, confused and frustrated whilst still being considered one of the best athletes in the world, and the detrimental state of mind that came as a result to this.

    I hope you all enjoy todays conversation,

    The Athlete Welfare Podcast x Fin Kelly

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    56 mins
  • Sara Parfett

    Jul 22 2021

    In this episode of The Athlete Welfare Podcast, I recorded with Sara Parfett, a #Tokyo2020 British Olympic Association Debutant, of The Great British Rowing Team. 

    First of all, the upmost best of luck to you in Tokyo, Sara, we are all behind you...

    Throughout this conversation, myself and Sara discussed the processes undertaken to develop relationships within different techniques of communication. 

    It was intriguing to investigate the differences regarding demands, small-talk, process goals within internal goals, external challenges in the form of impacts upon performance, between solo and team sports. From Sara's experiences in solo swimming, to solo rowing, to now rowing within a crew, we see a complete insight into the comparisons.

    I found it interesting when we discussed vulnerability making way for honest self-reflection, but positively reflecting rather than negatively, having overall awareness, in turn creating confidence and self-belief which secures one's welfare and results in high performance. 

    I hope you all enjoy todays conversation, 

    The Athlete Welfare Podcast x Fin Kelly

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    55 mins

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