In Sports and in Business, it takes a Team to Succeed

Article by Liz Gleadle updated February 17, 2016

Liz Gleadle delivering a presentation to the Javelin Team

Liz Gleadle delivering a presentation at Javelin Technologies

At a recent talk I gave to the Javelin Technologies team, someone asked, “If regular folks dream of being Olympic athletes, what do Olympians dream of?”

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that we dream of Olympic medals!

What may surprise you, though, is that even individual athletes need a team behind us to reach our dreams. That’s why I’m thrilled that Javelin is supporting me as I train for the Olympics in Rio this summer.

Beyond the “javelin” connection – which is awesome, don’t you think? — there are a lot of parallels between what I’m trying to do and what Javelin is trying to do.

My motto is “Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars,” which is a lot like Javelin’s motto, “Aim High.” Aiming for success in sport and success in the business world means we both “Aim High.”

Intention and focus

For me, aiming high means training hard. It’s more than a regular visit to the gym; it’s my full-time job. When I’m lifting weights and throwing a javelin, every rep matters, and is done with intention and focus. But just working hard isn’t enough – I’m constantly trying to identify my weak points and work on overcoming them. Training to be the best in the world takes more than simply showing up.

Training is intense (nine throwing and lifting sessions per week!), so I also have to stay mentally tough. And health is huge, which means paying attention to diet and sleep, rest and recovery. I know I can perform better when I have that balance. A big part of my job involves properly looking after myself in the hours between training sessions.

It all works together so I can improve, even just one tiny percent. If you follow the Olympics, you know that one percent, one fraction of a second, one millimetre, can mean the difference between coming first and getting a medal, and coming fourth and not making the podium at all. I feel best about myself when I know I have left no stone unturned in my pursuit of success.

Commitment to excellence

As I mentioned earlier, success is not achieved alone, even in what appears to be a solo sport. While the athlete is the one in the spotlight, it takes an entire team to get her there. I work closely with my coach and physiotherapists, who dedicate countless hours to make sure I’m physically at the top of my game. I surround myself with people who will make me better; I’m very selective about who I spend time with. My family and close friends understand and support the commitment I’ve made to sport.

We are all committed to excellence and personal bests. We all want to win.

Aiming high in business takes that same focus, that same drive to be the best you can be, and that same ability to work together as a team. I’ve seen that drive and passion in the Javelin employees I met; I’m enjoying working with them on some exciting projects, and seeing more of what they do to support their customers as they also aim high. Their energy, creativity, and passion is contagious!

John Carlan has kindly said I’ll be an inspiration to Javelin employees and customers; I’m honoured by his words and looking forward to living up to them!

Thanks so much for your support, and following me on my road to Rio!

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Liz Gleadle

Liz Gleadle is Canada’s top female javelin athlete, now sponsored by Javelin Technologies. Find out more about her at and, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @javelizz.