Written by Jameson Mola, year 2 Applied Sport Science.
Last week Dr Frank Dick OBE visited Southampton Solent University to give a lecture to the HESS students. My peers and I were excited to hear “One of the UK's best and most consistently inspiring motivational speakers”. We were familiar with Frank’s work and reputation after reading much of his ‘Sport Training Principles’ text earlier on in the year, however, after a bit of background research were unsure as to the content of his speech....
|Dr Frank Dick OBE in action.|
As it turns out Frank is as humorous as he is accomplished (The list would be too long to write). The speech opened with various jokes around his “rather unfortunate last name” and his definition of the types of people he encountered on his many endeavours. “Valley and mountain people”. A valley person attributes all misfortune to external factors, I would of.... should of.... could of.... valley people think not losing is the same thing as winning (which it isn’t). Mountain people conversely, take the risk of winning, being better than what other people call best (Solent students of course) the people that “risk to win”.
Frank suggests to become mountain people we need to embrace change, and change with agility, his (and now possibly my) favourite quote is “Probably the Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage You Have is the Ability to Learn Faster Than the Opposition” (Arie de Geus) which I believe this is the fundamental truth and reason we are at University, to learn faster. Frank suggests in order to do so successfully, we need to “access the experiences of everyone around you” combine our knowledge, efforts, becoming players in the game, and more importantly coaches to our peers. This involves going that extra mile, taking that extra risk, but more importantly doing so for yourself AND your peers, a ‘player-coach’.
There were various videos incorporated into the speech demonstrating these points in the sporting arena (alongside Frank’s expert commentary). The same principles are applicable to studying and student life, as we are all a collective group experiencing new, exciting and often daunting challenges to become successful we need to become Frank's ‘player-coaches’. After the speech there seemed to be a renewed excitement to get back to work, that it is possible to win, but you can win if you accept the responsibility, control and risk to do so.
As far as motivational speeches go, I believe this one may leave a lasting effect on all of us that attended, normally this ‘acute-motivation’ lasts a day maybe 2 max, but not this time. The underlying message was bluntly, ‘why the hell not’? After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained? As Frank put it, if not you, who? If not now, when? Better crack on with these assignments then!