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Curious Cows

Author: Mike James

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The aim of the Curious Cows Podcast is to challenge herd wisdom through conversations with the 'moo-vers' and shakers in life who have an inspirational story to tell that is simply worth listening to! Whilst the podcast is rooted in sport, our guests are not limited to the sporting world as we explore a variety of fields and disciplines.
8 Episodes
In this episode of the Curious Cows podcast I talk to Simon Wheatley, an independent coach education and player development consultant who works worldwide delivering to clubs, county and regional associations, governing bodies and conferences. He also runs a very successful on-line coach development programme with a huge variety of courses and mentoring opportunities. Simon is also an author, with his latest book 'The Sweet Spot - Unleashing potential in tennis coaches, players and parents' being a fantastic read. In his former roles at the Lawn Tennis Association Simon wrote 3 coaching qualifications and over 50 CPD courses. Simon is the archetypal curious cow, constantly challenging herd wisdom and the status quo!In part 1 of this episode I talk to Simon about a range of issues relating to the global and domestic tennis industry with a particular focus on coaching, including the challenges for a young coach entering the profession, the lack of coaches committing to a full-time career, the perils of coaching into your 40's/50's and the Emma Radacanu effect.Part 2 to follow soon!
Meet Matt Rogan, author of the just published book 'All to Play For - How Sport can reboot our future' and founder and former Executive Chairman of 'Two Circles' (Data Driven Sports Marketing Agency) which was voted one of The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For, and twice UK Sports Agency of the Year.  Matt now spends the majority of his time focused on Board advisory work, principally through Non-Executive Director commitments including the English Institute of Sport - which provides sports science, technology, medicine and engineering to Team GB Olympic and Paralympic teams. He is also a Strategic Advisor for SportsPro Media Group and Trustee of Halton Tennis Centre.Matt offers an incredible insight into sport, it's future, and the role it could play in being a significant agent for change with the power to heal a divided world.
Matt Brown - the story of an international standard junior tennis player who shared the court and tour with the likes of Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal, but didn't make it....on the tennis court at least.  After a career ending injury whilst at Baylor University, Matt used his academic education and experience from sport to forge a hugely successful career on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs in New York City.  Hear his inspiring story in this episode of the Curious Cows podcast.
A number of listeners to this podcast have asked, 'why Curious Cows?', so I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell the story of the 'Curious Cow' as a metaphor for the simple premise that we have a choice in life between being fenced in all our lives by herd wisdom or challenging it and its associated limits and barriers.  And that's the main thread of this podcast - talking to people who are approaching life with a 'curious cow' attitude, who are walking to the beat of a different drum, thinking differently and outside the box.
Meet Ian Cast - Dressage coach, confidante, best friend, and mentor to Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin.  Hear his story from taking Charlotte on as a teenager and their journey together through to Gold at the London Olympics in 2012, Rio in 2016 and hopefully on to Tokyo this summer. Ian has some superb insights into coaching at both a recreational and high performance level, and his passion for his trade and sport shine through.Timeline:2.26     Learning about Dressage - Ian fills us in3.45     Becoming a dressage coach6..46    What gets you out of bed in the morning as a coach?8.58     Recreation versus Performance10.00   A typical day12.04   Coach both horse and rider14.15   Introducing Valegro (Blueberry)17.15   Borrowing from other sports20.28   The Charlotte story29.48   The Olympic journey begins32.28   Some of Charlotte's challenges36.41   'Same old s**t, different arena'37.27    Personal highlights - the thrill of London41.03    Repeating in Rio and 'doubling up'42.13    Tokyo50.51    Giving everything to the client, training the horse sympathetically, being the 'rock' & leaving no stone unturnedNotes and credits: This episode was recorded over Zoom during the March 2021 pandemic lockdown. Music: John Bartmann (CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike licence).
Mike James in conversation with Jemima King.Jemima King is the County Performance Officer for Buckinghamshire Junior Tennis.  She is an inspirational coach and role model for girls in sport whilst also being a huge advocate for the female coaching journey. As a player she played U.S College Tennis at Boise State, becoming their most decorated ever doubles player, but also was instrumental in leading Bucks Ladies to their first ever Division 1 'County Week' title. Listen to how she balances out motherhood and coaching, her Fed Cup Trip to Argentina with Judy Murray in 2012, what 'performance' means to her.  She concludes with her 3 key qualities/values that she seeks to live up to everyday.Jemima's bio.Podcast highlights:1.07     A 'late developer' on court5.10     U.S Div 1 College Tennis at Boise State7.53     Injury halts play but her game develops as a result9.28     Thinking about turning professional11.20   Journey into coaching14.18   A heart for getting girls into sport18.10   Balancing motherhood and coaching21.05   Advocating the female coaching journey25.55   A new role - County Performance Officer for Bucks Tennis27.50   County Tennis as a player - leading Bucks ladies forward to first ever County week Div 1 title38.23   What does 'performance' mean to you?42.43   3 key qualities/values that you seek to live up to each dayNotes and credits: This episode was recorded over Zoom during the February 2021 pandemic lockdown. Music: John Bartmann (CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike licence).
Mike James in conversation with Scott Allaway.Scott is a former member of the TeamGB Bobsleigh Team and went on to become its Commercial Director between 2010 and 2014.  His work in this role took the team to the Winter Olympics in Sochi where their 4 man crew finished 5th - later upgraded to an Olympic Bronze Medal after the Russian doping scandal which disqualified the two Russian sleds which finished ahead of GB.Throughout this time Scott has, and continues to be, a very successful businessman applying lessons from sport into business and visa versa in equal measure.  His enthusiasm, humour and ability to break through barriers (if he even sees them!) will no doubt inspire you as you listen to his story.Highlights:0.55     How Scott got into Bobsleigh and winning through a talent ID day at Bath University at the age of 35!8.49     Selection for GB 'It's a stopwatch sport'10.50   Scott becomes commercial director for British Bobsleigh in 2010 with the organisation was broke, had no sponsors, and was in disarray15.50   Picking up the phone, selling the vision, using business experience to get the support required.  Scott raises over 350K!18.00   A trip to the Sochi Olympics20.43   The Russian doping scandal culminated 6 years later in the team getting the bronze medal - the cost & implications of this...22.43   Scott's business career - did sport inform business or visa versa?  Becoming a director and then eventually buying and selling Zenith30.35  Getting restless for a new challenge32.30  That's 'been' so put it in the 'bin'34.45  New venture - indoor sport structures (Halton Sport Structures* ) - 52 'live' projects41.33  Scott's 3 keys to winning at life!*Halton Sport Structures is an independent business to Halton Tennis Centre and is not a branch/offshootNotes and credits: This episode was recorded over Zoom during the February 2021 pandemic lockdown. Music: John Bartmann (CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike licence).
Mike James in conversation with John Walker and Nick Leighton about Halton Tennis Centre, then and now, with an emphasis on the last twenty years - the first Curious Cows Podcast.Highlights:    2m03s: Nick recounts a brief history of what went on at Halton through the twentieth century.    9:27 John remembers joining Halton and how he was encouraged to become involved.    13:22 Nick discusses the last 20 years in numbers - finance and people.    23:34 The Complete Tennis Experience    24:54 The turnaround begins; conditions John required to start the process    33:44 Nick's light hand at the tiller and evolution    42:23 All valued and welcome and the value of volunteers    47:06 The present and future; looking to the future and post-pandemic and managing changeNotes and credits: This episode was recorded over Zoom during the January 2021 pandemic lockdown, hence some noises off. Music: John Bartmann (CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike licence)
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