However talented you are, ‘turning up on the day and doing your best’ is never a recipe for success.
Even allowing for more rigorous drug testing and subsequent bans affecting some athletes, the progress to London 2012 and Rio 2016 has been astonishing and relentless.
Is it all down to money? Certainly the Lottery funding makes more things possible; but there’s much more to the success story than splashing the cash.
If your bid team aims to be a top performer there’s plenty you can learn from the Team GB approach.
All of the above required investment: in money and in commitment from athletes and coaches across an extended period. Success ‘on the day’ is often four years in the making.
The winning edge doesn’t develop during the event - nor even in the immediate run up. Similarly, you can’t hope to become the best bid team you can be in the short time period between receiving an RFQ and the submission date. Your capabilities and your confidence have to be things that you work on constantly so you can perform consistently when you need to.
Success also requires self-belief from the athletes in their ability to perform at the highest levels and to win. The athletes trust that their coaches are providing the best advice and guidance to lead to ultimate victory. Yes, finding the right coach can make all the difference!
From 36th to 2nd in the medal table is a spectacular achievement. Money has been invested to perpetuate this, to drive further continual improvement and to attract more talent and encourage greater participation.
The competition (particularly in sports like cycling) now believe that GB athletes are the best - so they start at a psychological disadvantage.
If you want your bid team to enjoy similar superiority here are some tips:
- Find and develop the best talent for each role in the bidding process - the skills needed are highly diverse.
- Work on improving skills - such as presentation design and delivery or bid writing - continuously.
- Find the right coach who will identify where and how you need to improve.
- Plan ahead: when are crucial bidding opportunities (including rebidding for existing contracts) likely to occur? Start the build up now!