Taking 10 with...Frank Dick OBE

Taking 10 with...Frank Dick OBE

Sunday 11th February 2018

By Michelle Hammond

Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?

If you want something be prepared to do whatever it takes to get there. I wanted a pair of spikes and asked my Dad if I could have them. He said “You buy the left one and I’ll buy the right”. So I delivered milk, rolls and newspapers every morning running up and down the tenements in Leith and paid for the left one. There was also the value add of getting some serious legwork and cardio respiratory work done in the process. So the bigger lesson is the importance of three questions.

1. What do you want?
2. How much does it cost?
3. Are you prepared to pay the price?

Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?

Put quality before quantity. Be honest and therefore trusted.
Be accountable and therefore respected. In all that you do address 4Rs:

Reason. Why are you doing this? What’s the purpose? What outcome do you want?
Reality.   What are you going to do? How and when are you going to do it?
Reflection. Did Reality match Reason and what did you learn from the experience?
Response. What will you do differently and better next time?

In planning define your goals not as being better than what excellence is today but
what it will look like tomorrow.
Make time regularly with your team to ask “What if?” and “Why not?” To invent
possibility for change and disruption in your arena. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?

Deciding that Coaching was not only important in Sport but in business and in life.

Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?

Dr Geoff Gowan, Linda Dick, Bas Stamatakis, Bill Bowerman, Judith Doyle, Geoffrey Hamilton Fairley (And everyone I’ve worked with who cared to influence me).

Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision? 

Listening to a friend who advised me to buy shares in an organisation two days
before Black Monday!

Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?

Actually 3 for me - Persistence, Patience, Resilience. 

Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?

Depends on timescales Walk, cycle or jog. Listen to Mozart compilation album.
Take 6 long, slow, deep breaths. Autogenic Training (a bit like meditation)

Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?

Again walking,cycling, jogging but also gardening. Am aware of need to somehow address physical, mental and emotional wellness. Hence listening to Music and reading.

Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?

It may be just my perception but visiting a Spa seems to promote an image of an
extra thing you might do in your life. I think it deserves an image that’s more than
pampering and luxury. The brilliant concepts you have built around wellness should
give a clearer picture of the services you offer as being a central part of life for

Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Probably the only sustainable competitive advantage we have is the ability to learn faster than the opposition” -Arie de Geuss.


1.What’s your favourite book? 

The Prophet

2. What’s your favourite film of all time?

Pay it Forward

3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

Leonardo da Vinci to listen to how he bridges fantasy and reality

4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?

Salò, Lake Garda

5. Your perfect dinner is?

Seafood Platter on ice

6. Your go to drink is?


7. Your favourite sweet treat is?


8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?

Chanel Platinum

9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?

Sauna-Ice Tub-Steam Room-Ice Tub- relax on lounger listening to sea waves

10. What’s your favourite flower?

Blue Moon Rose

11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?

No Caffeine after 16.00 and a small glass of Armagnac an hour before going to bed

12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?

Get scared. Best thing to get adrenaline pumping is fear

13. The theme tune to your life is?

One moment in time (Whitney Houston)

14. What makes you laugh to your belly? 

The sequence in the Movie “Money Pit” where Shelley Long unplugs the Builder’s electricity supply and Tom Hanks faces quite a ride

15. What’s your favourite season?


16. What’s your favourite colour?


17. Your favourite time of day is?


18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?

Oprah Winfrey (But I’m pretty happy at being me)

19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?

If I was asked what I’d watch every night if I could, it’s Only Fools and Horses

20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?

Conduct an Orchestra

Dr Frank Dick OBE

Renowned as a truly outstanding inspirational speaker, Frank Dick is currently President of the European Athletics Coaches Association, Member of the IAAF Coaches Commission and Chair and architect of the IAAF Academy. He was also the ICCE Global Coaches House Program Director at London Olympics 2012, in Calgary during the 2014 Winter Olympics and in Glasgow during the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He will continue in this role through to Rio 2016. From 1979 to 1994 he was
Director of Coaching for British Athletics. His work with the team, through what is seen as its golden era for UK, saw him acknowledged as one of the leading sports coaches at world level.

Frank is riding high on the outstanding results from his position as High Performance Director for SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) where he was the consultant to South Africa's top coaches and athletes at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.  RSA achieved 10 medals with 2 Gold, 6 Silver & 2 bronze.  Four of those medals were gained in Athletics, Frank’s area of expertise.
His focus was on assisting SASCOC with the preparations for Rio 2016, advising Athletics South Africa (ASA) with their national development plan and high performance strategy and there was a secondary objective of assisting with long term planning for Tokyo 2022 while also ensuring that South African teams are competitive at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Now Frank has taken the success from RSA into a new area and has undertaken a challenging position in the UK as a strategic planning consultant with Eddie Jones and the England Rugby Leadership Team.  

In this position, Frank personally coached decathlete Daley Thompson who, like his teammates Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Tessa Sanderson, Sally Gunnell, Alan Wells and Linford Christie, won Olympic Gold.

He also applied his performance planning and conditioning programs in other sports to the advantage of world class performers such as Boris Becker (tennis), Katarina Witt (ice skating),Gerhard Berger (FI) and Justin Rose (golf).He is working with St George’s Park for the development of English football, and with Scottish Rugby as well as the Australian Rugby Union.

Frank expertise is sought around the world by federations, coaches and athletes in a wide range of sports. His coaching presentations and workshops inspire and motivate people to be responsible for their own performance, their own development and the development of others. His coach education and development skills have been put to use in speed and figure skating, badminton, rowing, canoeing, cycling, cricket, tennis and triathlon both nationally and internationally, including in South Africa, Canada, USA, Finland, Portugal, Greece, Russia, China and France to name a few.

In 2011, Frank was awarded an Honorary Professorship by the National Sports Academy of Bulgaria in recognition of his influence in advancement of coaching in Europe. This followed an Honorary Doctorate by Loughborough University for his contribution to coaching and coach development.

Frank’s contribution to sport brought an OBE in 1989, induction to the UK Coaches Hall of Fame with the Dyson Award in 1999 and the prestigious title "UK Sporting Hero" by UK Sport in 2001. 

Against this history of excellence through coaching some of the best talent in international sport, he has, over the past 25 years of speaking to hundreds of companies around the world, recognised the key areas of personal and professional development which, once taken out of a ‘training room’ mentality and put into a business context, will lead to individual and team performance advantage, simply by giving a different perspective.

He is the author of four major publications; 'Sports Training Principles' (6th edition), & 'Winning', ‘Winning Lines" and ‘Winning Matters’, and is currently working on a new book about coaching.

His priority projects currently are related to commitment to working with ICCE in directing the Global Coaches House and additionally supporting the Global Coaching Framework from the coach’s perspective. These include:
 Setting out the Coaches Development Pathway
 Pursuing the concept of the Coaches Charter
 Progressing the vision of a properly regulated coaching profession
 Creating a concept of coaching licence which reflects CPD and coaching effectiveness credits

Frank’s presentations and workshops cover a wide range of topics, including athlete performance delivery under pressure; review and debriefing processes; strategic planning for major championship campaigns; creating active life programmes; building effective teams; and the winning edge –leadership.

Learn more

Connect with Frank:

Twitter: @frankdickcoach

Telephone +44 (0)203 603 0115

Email: office@fwd.uk.com

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