Los Angeles, California, USA
Saturday 25th April 2015

Itís been an incredible week in California, visiting cutting edge performance centres, listening to & learning from some great minds, each asking their own questions in the performance science parameters of their fields.

I didnít stand on ceremony & as I stepped off the plane at LAX, I immediately headed along the coast to Santa Monica to take up a long standing invite from Andy Walshe & Per Lundstam, to visit their department at the Red Bull High Performance Center.

People suggest I travel rather regularly & they may have a point, but trying to be in the same place as Andy takes several stars to align, there to be an ďrĒ in the month & the wind to be blowing in the right direction.  Andy defines global expert in many different ways but when he has been in LA, Iíve been in Europe & when Iíve been in LA, heís been in Europe.

This time, Per had put the wheels in motion & fortunately for me Andy was also in the building.  & what a buildingÖfrom the moment you cross the threshold, you realise this is no ordinary company.  You find me another office where there is a double skate ramp running through the middle of the cavernous desk space & Iíll still doubt your discovery!

In a small think tank, off the main open plan office space, is housed the human performance team.  Itís not fancy but just looking around the plans, schematics, structural models & pictures that adorn the walls, you know itís a fun & challenging place to work.

Not confined by the normal restrictions & focussed remit of other sporting organisations, Red Bullís athletes number around 800 & infiltrate a vast array of sports.  Beyond the sporting population, the company supports chess players, musicians & entrepreneurs to better themselves, demonstrating a true vision of human performance.

Speaking to the team, I started to understand that this ability to ask the bigger questions, enables them to explore aspects of performance that, if understood with greater clarity, will potentially enhance the operative capabilities of each & every one their collective.  Beyond that, maybe the human race as a whole may use their findings to take a step forward.  Sounds like a big dream?  Sure but why not, itís a dream worth chasing & you have to start by asking questions that no one else is asking.

The team is currently planning another project, which will place a number of their athletes under environmental conditions that will induce physical stress.  This will enable the collection of physiological data to monitor the changes that occur in several biomarkers.  I am not going to go into any details but if you want an insight into the type of projects Andy & Per mastermind, I would recommend watching the video below.

The video is a presentation Andy gave last year as part of UCLAís ďIDEASĒ lecture series. The sound quality isnít the best but if you persevere with it, you will understand why I concluded my day with the team inspired & excited, having challenged my own perceptions of what we as scientists & clinicians can do to develop the performance fields in which we each work.

Walshe, A. Red Bull: High Performance & Human Potential Development. UCLA, AUD: IDEAS Series

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.  It goes some way to explaining why I admire Andy, Per, Tyler, Brandon & Dan, the work they are doing & their approach to exploring the limits of human performance. 

Thank you to Per for organising my visit & all at Red Bull USA for making me so welcome.

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