Over the past month, I have enjoyed watching some of the world’s greatest sportspeople competing and representing their countries with pride. Of course, as a Singaporean, I was overjoyed to witness my country’s first ever representation at the top of the podium at a global level. What struck me most was catching all the stories about this significant win and how much effort went in to achieve such success. This was not just a story of an individual’s incredible willpower and dedication, but a deeper collaborative and support system which involved coaches, sporting associations, families and many more.
Hearing this, I couldn’t help but wonder how much collaboration matters in honing talent – no matter what it is. In a sporting context, the important role which government ministries, sports associations, and sponsors play in the development of athletes now and in the future is absolutely vital. How then can they ensure those crucial links of support and mentoring for athletes are maintained even when if they choose to train overseas? Further, how can the education of these young athletes also be ensured while they choose to follow their sporting dreams?
Video education for future champions
Managers and team members for the sports associations could often be in different time zones. By using video conferencing, we can support high levels of engagement for dispersed teams – to give them the same collaboration feeling as interacting face-to-face. Sponsors and managers can broker a contract without having to go through distances multiple times; expert coaches and mentors are more accessible and can participate in training sessions even if distance separates them; and perhaps most importantly video can help maintain relationships while athletes train overseas reducing the impact of their physical time spent apart from their families and friends. This may boost motivation and engagement and in turn their overall performance. Often, young sportspeople are torn between pursuing their athletic careers while obtaining educational qualifications. Video is the connecting pathway of these two streams, ensuring they get the best of both worlds.
Does this seem slightly far-fetched? Think again, because at Polycom we’ve been supporting the development of sportspeople through video collaboration for many years. VUC Storstrøm in Denmark have a created a unique and innovative platform for the Danish Football Association, something they call the ‘Global Football Classroom’. This program brings rising football players together in a virtual classroom whether they play in Denmark or abroad, providing them the ability to follow an academic curriculum via video conferencing from their desktops. Read their story here.
No doubt our recent pride and glory will inspire a new generation of athletes in Singapore and beyond to pursue their own sporting dreams. Success lies in many factors – and strong collaboration should always factor into a winning strategy.