tpm of a world class cyclist
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TPM of a world class cyclist

Many of you will have seen the documentaries about Team Sky, following the record breaking Tour de France wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins win and Chris Froome. Team Sky take a holistic and systemic approach to looking after their riders and the team – it’s like applying TPM to people!

I recently read Geraint Thomas’ auto-biography which provides excellent insights into the Team Sky world of ‘marginal gains’ and the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) of its world class riders.

Learning from experience – and especially mistakes is important in continuous improvement.  Everything is subjected to Plan > Do > Review in a systematic and systemic fashion.  The obvious areas for improvement are technological advances to materials, kit and equipment (e.g. bikes and helmets) and measuring and analysing rider performance, but personalised training plans, diet, clothing, bedding & mattress toppers, the team bus, warm down regime and recovery care are all subject to this scientific level of scrutiny.

Psychological ‘mind management’ support is available from Professor Steve Peters and the approach he has developed  – called ‘The Chimp Paradox’ – for example, time and effort lost on emotions and worrying is still a waste.

Famously, riders have stated ‘it’s not about the bike’ – the system that supports the world class rider goes much further than the bike.  Marginal gains come from everywhere. And many sports are now adopting this systematic approach to improvement!

So how do you look at your ‘production system’ and performance?  Any lessons from cycling?

Visit our events section to see what TPM workshops are planned.

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