Serial Winners – why some coaches get to the top… and stay there

What does it take to win repeatedly at the highest level of Olympic and professional sport?  This has been the concern of The Serial Winning Coach, a study commissioned by the ICCE and supported by world-leading sport organisations such as UK Sport, the Australian Sport Commission, INSEP (France) and Trainerakademie Köln (Germany). They were all looking for new and improved ways to recruit and develop Olympic coaches.

Sergio Lara-Bercial, Leeds Beckett’s Senior Research Fellow and University of Queensland’s Associate Professor Cliff Mallet led the project.  They interviewed 14 Serial Winning Coaches and 21 of their athletes from 9 different countries and 11 different sports in search for that elusive holy grail. Between them these coaches’ athletes had won over 130 Olympic gold medals and major championships over the last 40 years.

As expected, every coach is different.  There was no single magic recipe for success. Yet, a number of personality traits and behaviour patterns were evident.  These were central to the powerful role that these coaches played in securing continued success. How these elements manifest for every coach and sport varies and is highly context-dependent.

To read more about the results, please read the whole article here.


The SCE is a formally established continental body for Europe of the International Council for Coaching Excellence.

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