L&M Technical Sponsors of Team GB Bobsleigh, ‘Bob Team Baird’: How We Help.

L&M Consulting Ltd. are proud to announce their technical sponsorship of British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA), Team GB Bobsleigh, ‘Bob Team Baird’ (BTB). Experts in performance and wellbeing psychology, L&M will provide a continuous programme of sport psychology support to Adam Baird, Dave Coleman and Tom Milner in preparation for the two-man bobsleigh at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“It’s hard to imagine a more thrilling and psychologically-challenging team sport and we are delighted to have been welcomed into their support team.”
L&M Director, Caroline Marlow, PhD. C.Psychol.

Our support has three goals:

The two-man bob is a winter team sport that involves pushing and then steering a gravity-powered, carbon fibre sled down a narrow ice track of up to 20, often tightly, banked bends as fast as possible. Squeezed into a sled measuring up to 2.7 metres long, the athletes travel at up to 80mph, and are exposed to the harsh vibrations of the runners on the ice and to forces of up to 5G – five times the force of gravity and supposedly comparable to those experienced in a jet fighter.

Anything other than optimal performance anywhere in the process costs valuable milliseconds – Canada and Germany shared the 2018 Winter Olympic Gold gaining exactly the same accumulated time measured to the 100th of a second over four runs– or risks crashing, serious injury or worse.

Bobsleigh is divided into two parts:

  • The Push. The start is crucial: Medals can be lost here. The team use their explosive power to dash down the track aiming to launch the sled as fast, but as smoothly, as possible. Excellent teamwork and communication are required to optimise the momentum: simultaneously timing the starting hit on the sled, running on the ice to push the sled, and then co-ordinating jumping in!
  • The Drive. Medals are won here. Within a split second, the driver has to switch from producing explosive power and focusing on co-ordinating with his team mate, to ultimate calm and focused control. Steering with only a crude pair of rings attached to the sled’s runners, he needs to focus on the correct line and make often subtle steering adjustments to travel this line to ensure optimal speed: Just a split second of steering a few millimetres off-course takes the sled off line for at least 4 metres. The driver also has to contend with constant changes in light, weather and ice conditions, and remember the vibrations and 5Gs!
  • Then Repeat…. The teams run twice on a race day (the World Championships and Olympics have four runs over two days). The break between runs is determined by your race position, but it can be as short as 35 minutes, including getting back to the top. Energy must not be wasted; the focus must remain positive.

Other Demands
As with all athletes, Bob Team Baird:

  • Have to remain positive and in control despite all the expected and unexpected changes in competitive demands and in pre-race conditions; e.g., schedule changes, competitor trash talking, equipment problems.
  • Maintain motivation to train optimally and to keep themselves in peak physical condition throughout the training cycle.
  • Without GB funding, Adam of Bob Team Baird is also responsible for raising all of their funds and spending it wisely, and for all of the day-to-day logistics involved in getting themselves and the sled ready for competition.

Follow L&M on LinkedIn or Twitter for updates of our support to Bob Team Baird. Future updates include the individual and teamwork demands of bobsleigh, and creating a culture of optimal performance.

Follow Adam Baird, Bob Team Baird Driver, on Twitter for team training and competition updates.

About L&M
L&M are a small high-calibre consultancy who provide support to business and sporting organisations and to individuals. We support:

  • Organisations and teams who want to develop a sustainable high performance/high wellbeing culture that enables all to thrive now and into the future.
  • Individuals who want to perform optimally and improve their psychological wellbeing be they at the top of their game, plateauing or experiencing difficult times.

If you are interested in how we might help you, your organisation or team, please look through our website and contact us to discuss your needs. We are based in the SE of England, but can provide support remotely across the UK and internationally.