Peter Francis


I have always had a fascination with transformation. The first book I asked my parents for as a Christmas present was called ‘Optimum Nutrition for the Mind’, after I had seen the author appear on a late-night chat show. It wasn’t so much the nutrition I was fascinated by, but the idea that people’s health and disease could be transformed by their behaviour. Around this time, I had started athletics, long-distance running specifically. This led to a radical overhaul of my teenage body and mind and made it almost inevitable that I would study sport and exercise science at University.

At University I was fascinated by performance and the excellence required to achieve it, so much so that I had ‘in the pursuit of excellence’ tattooed on the back of my calf. My own performances would be rudely interrupted by injury until I learned how to transform them via a couple of more science degrees and lots of trial and error. The knowledge acquired along this journey led to my assisting amateur, European, World and Olympic athletes to realise their potential. This work coincided with a developing career in academia where I still mentor students and colleagues to be the best that they can be.

Having reached several athletic and professional peaks including running a 33-minute 10-km, overseeing the fastest growing research group at my university, helping the rugby team where I was a performance coach (and physiotherapist) gain promotion for the first time in history and being one of the youngest ever team managers for the Irish athletics team at a European Championships, something wasn’t right.

My pursuit of excellence had produced excellence but not necessarily happiness. For this, I would need to move beyond the realms of physical transformation. I moved back to my native Ireland, retired from competitive running, and hung up my sports science and medicine badges until I figured out who I was and what I was about.

I learned that much of my pursuit of excellence had been an attempt to control my environment in order to feel safe. For most of us, this process starts off with a few incidences that happen in childhood and keep us reacting like a frightened child in adulthood. By letting go of everything I used to feel safe, I was able to uncover many talents I had that were hidden in plain sight. Dumping old stories about what I was and wasn’t good at allowed me to explore a reservoir of untapped potential within myself.

To access this potential, I had to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Instead of achievement, I had a new addiction, fear. Fear truly is where the magic lies, and I embraced it at every turn. From writing and performing poetry, to fighting in the highland games, making a rugby debut aged 35-years or simply asking for what I needed, if it frightened me I did it.

Most of the work I do today both at the University and with the teams (mainly rugby) outside it, involves helping individuals, leaders and teams step out of their comfort zone and realise their potential.

performance coaching

The Honest

I help people to be honest with themselves so that they maximise their potential.

performance coaching

The Critical

I act as a soundboard for leaders trying to implement their vision.

performance coaching

The Connected

Connection is rocket-fuel for team performance. I help people in teams trust themselves and one another deeply.

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Kind Words