In this episode, our Head of Performance Psychology - Joe Davis - was joined by Sam Parfitt and Laura Dowling to discuss the importance of Emotional Intelligence within sport, with a particular focus on how athletes can develop EI skills to protect their mental health and continue to thrive through the current crisis and beyond. In this powerful episode, Sam, Laura and Joe explore what EI is, as well as practical strategies that athletes can start to deploy to support themselves through uncertainty and flourish when competitive sport returns.
Laura Dowling is a certified professional coach recognized by the International Coach Federation specializing in strengths-based leadership (Gallup), career development, mindset (The Pacific Institute) and emotional intelligence (RocheMartin). Her work is about being well to perform well.
She brings a wealth of global experiences engaging with individuals and teams across a variety of sectors including public and private, non-profit, sport, and higher education. Though her own field hockey sporting career includes years of competing internationally and domestically in Canada, her executive coaching career began in sub-Saharan Africa, whereby she co-led a management consulting firm specializing in shifting leadership mindset and developing high performance organizational cultures. This was preluded by her career in international community and sport development.
Over the last years, she started working with Canada’s high performance and Olympic/Paralympic athletes through their career transitions as BCs Game Plan Advisor, a program that focuses on total athlete wellness. Since then, she continues to consult to the Canadian Olympic Committee and organizations across Canada, all while working at Sauder School of Business in Vancouver.
She has a passion for helping people grow and develop from the inside out. Her work as a coach and facilitator in the field of personal and professional development allows for people to discover more of who they are, unlock potential, and create a future that is both rewarding and meaningful.
Sam Parfitt is the Founder and CEO of The True Athlete Project, a nonprofit that reimagines sport as a training ground for compassion, mindfulness and mental wellbeing. They design and deliver holistic development programmes for athletes of all levels, from primary school children to Olympians and Paralympians in over 30 sports.
From the UK, Sam was originally a tennis player and coach, before moving becoming a head of sport at an independent school in Tennessee. He holds a master's from the University of Edinburgh where he was also a tutor, and was previously the Sport for Mental Wellbeing manager at a community sports centre in an area of high deprivation in Edinburgh