Our Team

Christopher Connolly, PhD

Christopher ConnollyChristopher Connolly co-founded SyCon – The Sporting Bodymind Group – with John Syer in 1979. Together they pioneered applied sports psychology and mental training in Britain with great success. His expertise is working with elite performers, leaders and teams to enhance their performance. He has developed unique insight into the transfer of expert knowledge and skills across expert domains, in particular amongst sport, music and business.

In the early stages of his career he worked with numerous national sports associations, Premiership football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton FC, Olympic teams in the UK and Europe, and with professional sports teams in the United States.

In the 1980’s he began to work with the business community while still maintaining links with sport and performance. He is widely recognised and sought after as an expert in Team Development, Leadership and Executive Coaching.

As well as being a highly regarded executive coach, Christopher continues to act as coach and mental trainer to elite athletes and musicians. He has co-led research projects for businesses at a number of universities, members of UK Sport coaching staff and the Royal College of Music.

He has co-authored a number of books with John Syer including Sporting Body, Sporting Mind, Team Building Team Leader’s Guide, Think to Win and How Teamwork Works. He has lectured widely at conferences and within organisations and made numerous appearances on television and radio.

Christopher recently completed a 3 year research project on Transition Expertise which studied leaders in music, sport and business and identified the characteristics that enabled them to make repeated, successful career transitions from expert performers to leadership in their field.

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Hetty Einzig, MA

Hetty EinzigWith a background in languages and the arts, Hetty’s roots are in transpersonal psychology, a values and potential based model that works with the cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual as an interconnected whole. A fully trained psychotherapist, this deeper understanding underpins her coaching and all her work.

Hetty’s approach is holistic, spanning work, life and strategic development issues; her systems perspective views the individual or team within their organisational and current context.

The thread that unites all her work is her passion and commitment to helping individuals and organisations realise their full potential through real action in the world. She works with a creative mix of intellectual challenge, humour, energy and reflection and a toolkit that includes imagery and story telling for deep personal engagement.

She works internationally with cross-cultural teams developing awareness, dialogue and change skills in leaders who want to make a difference. She has become increasingly interested in the contribution of business and organisations to the wider, complex, global social and environmental issues confronting us today.

Fernand Gobet, PhD

fernand-gobet_185Fernand Gobet earned his Ph.D. in psychology in 1992 at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. After a six-year stay at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, where he collaborated with Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon on chess expertise, he was Senior Research Fellow and then Reader at the University of Nottingham. He moved to Brunel University in 2003 to take up a Chair in cognitive psychology. Since 2013, he is Professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Liverpool.

His main research interest is the psychology of expertise and talent, which he has studied in numerous domains including board games, physics, computer programming, music, sport, business, language acquisition, nursing and physiotherapy. His research combines experimental methods with computational modelling. He has over 250 publications, including six books on expertise and computational modelling. His two latest books are Foundations of cognitive psychology (2011) and Psychologie du talent et de l’expertise (2011).

Fernand Gobet is the main architect behind the CHREST project (Chunk Hierarchy and REtrieval STructures), one of the few cognitive architectures in the world. Beyond perception, memory and decision making in a number of games (chess, Go, awele and blackjack), CHREST has simulated data on concept formation, implicit learning, memory for computer programs, problem gambling, and the acquisition of vocabulary and syntax.

Deb Shepherd, MBA

As both a Sports Science and MBA graduate, Deb brought a continuing commercial capability to SyCon underpinned by her specific interests in potential, performance and personal development. With a developing interest in the Humanistic Psychology in the workplace, Deb has recently certified as a coach with the Association of Executive Coaches and has trained as a Professional Coach with Henley Business School.


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