Rikard Grip

Our Great Coach on this episode is Rikard Grip.

Rikard was the national coach of the Swedish cross-country skiing team between 2010 and 2019.

At the age of only 32 he led the national team to their best performance ever at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where they finished equal top on the medal table with Norway winning 11 medals.

As a result he was named the Swedish coach of the Year in 2015.

In 2019, he resigned as coach having led the team to 35 Olympic and World Championship medals and took up a position as the Swedish Olympic Games Preparation Director, and now as Secretary General of the Swedish Biathlon Federation.

Rikard is a driven and committed leader, who at only a young age was able to find an effective balance between challenging and caring for his athletes. He talks with deep sincerity about meeting athletes where they are, of partnering with them and brining energy into the relationship so that they succeed.

Building self-belief is at the centre of his coaching philosophy which he summarizes by saying that its important to help the athletes feel like they can walk on water. He is also inclusive, and believes that the athletes and the supporting staff come together to create the environment that delivers high-performance.

Other key highlights from this interview are:

The importance of being yourself as a coach and not trying to imitate other great mentors or leaders that you have experienced.

How body language is much more important that actual language when it comes to communicating with athletes.

The story he shares about offering calm instruction about techniques in the final stages of the race and not emotional cries referring to the competition.

And The importance of looking people in the eye when you are giving positive feedback so that they feel it is genuine and not offered purely to cheerlead the athlete into believing in themselves.

I enjoyed this conversation with a coach who I am sure we will hear much more from in the coming years, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you would like to send us any feedback or if you know a great coach, who has a unique story to share, then we would love to hear from you, please contact us at thegreatcoachespodcast@gmail.com or contact us through our website thegreatcoachespodcast.com

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