Britain’s Wheelchair Basketball team learning to deal with high expectations

British Wheelchair Basketball’s performance director insists the Paralympic squad are learning to manage high expectations on their run-in to a title defence in Paris.

Diccon Edwards took up his role in 2022, in the middle of Britain’s first Paralympic cycle as defending champions following their Tokyo 2020 triumph.

The former rugby union and league professional believes shifting focus onto the present can help Britain’s best match their heroics from three years ago when they overcame the USA 54-49 in the final.

Edwards sat on a panel to mark UK Anti-Doping’s Clean Sport Week campaign alongside retired Paralympians powerlifter Ali Jawad and triple Paralympic champion host Giles Long at Loughborough University Stadium.

On hopes for Paris 2024, he said: “From a sporting perspective, we have really high expectations of ourselves.

“But we also only focus on ourselves, so we try to not be distracted by what other people think.

“If we look at what we know we need to do to perform well, that gives us the best chance of being successful again this year.

“In today’s discussion, the key themes around preparing athletes for the experience of testing, the education side and the athlete experience were very powerful, including how that impacts individuals from a psychological perspective.”

UKAD invites everyone working and participating in sport to join in with Clean Sport Week, from 13 – 17 May 2024.

The week-long campaign gives the sporting community a chance to celebrate clean athletes and discuss anti-doping in an informal, yet impactful way. This year’s theme has been ‘Journey to the Podium’ as the panel in Loughborough took a particular focus on para-athlete’s experiences.

UKAD is responsible for ensuring sports bodies in the UK are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code through implementation and management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy.

On Clean Sport Week and with the Paralympics in sight, Edwards emphasised the need to maintain high standards in educating support personnel as well as athletes, avoiding any shortcuts to success.

He added: “The nature of wheelchair basketball is your physical capabilities, it’s such a multifaceted thing, you don’t want people to take those shortcuts to success.

“You want to make sure your culture is right, and we want to make sure players understand their responsibilities.

“Sometimes people want short-term fixes and it’s the ability to recognise, it’s about managing expectations and understanding the processes people have to go through.

“In wheelchair basketball, there are only 32 full-time places, so you have to be the best of the best.

“You’re going to have to do a lot of this on your own and you have to be really committed.

“If you want a short-term fix to anything, it’s looking at yourself and not taking any risks.”

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles