Eve Muirhead was only 19 when she debuted at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, and became the youngest curling skip to win an Olympic medal when leading Great Britain to bronze at Sochi 2014.
Now, with those two Games and a world title on her CV, the 27-year-old Scot is targeting Olympic gold in PyeongChang as the new curling season gets underway.
Here, she gives her advice on effective leadership and communication.
Pass on your experience
“In Vancouver, I was competing alongside three girls who had already been to an Olympic Winter Games, so I got as much advice from them as I could. In the same way, I pass on my advice to other athletes now. Enjoyment is a key aspect of [the Games], so you shouldn’t get carried away with what’s going to happen in the future. You have to focus on getting better in that moment from the experience you’ve gained in the past.”
Work out how to motivate your team
“I think the core to any team is good communication and good leadership. I need to know what to say to the girls if they’re not playing well, and I need to know what to say to them if they are playing well. As a unit, you need to gel to get the best performance out of each one of you.”
Honesty is the best policy
“When you’re in such a tight-knit team, there’s definitely no hiding place. In a lot of our team meetings, there are things you say that you don’t like to say; and there are things you hear that you don’t like to hear. But that’s never having a go at anybody – all that is designed to do is make you a better team.”
Never stop learning
“Every day you learn a little bit more, and every day you learn from something you’ve done wrong. So I think my leadership skills are getting better and better. I’m someone who loves for people to give me feedback and tell me what I can do better; but on the other side of that, I like people telling me what I’m doing well so that I can continue to do that.”
Have a long-term plan
“Right now, as a team, we’re really, really happy. We made a couple of changes at the start of the 2016/17 season, and I think that was the best time to do that, because it gives us that year to mould things together – and to make any further decisions if there were any to make. Then, the Olympic year is a year for putting the small bits together, with no huge changes. The changes we’ve made have been a great asset to the team.”