Prof. Damian Hughes – Co-host High Performance Podcast, international speaker and best-selling author

December 7, 2020

The Story behind the person asking the High-Performance questions…

Get a real insight into the influence his father played on his journey through sport and why he now does what he does and the many lessons he has learnt along the way to living a high performance lifestyle.

I just love his very clear non-negotiable behaviours of kindness, fun and engaging and can it make a positive difference. Listen in to the episode and make your own judgement if Damian lives to these.  I certainly think he does!!

If you are interested to know more about Damian then have a look at the bottom of the show notes for his detailed biography. I would suggest you just listen in to the conversation as there are so many thought provoking stories and situations for you to make sense of.

It was a real pleasure and hopefully will inspire you to take responsibility and be the best version of you!

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Success quotes or powerful sayings form the Pod:

  • I am going to do the best I can with what I have got where I am – enjoy the process
  • Education is the engine to change lives
  • The importance of following your passion
  • Go out there, give it a go and shape lives along the way
  • You can see the ghost of peoples childhoods wrestling around their adult bodies
  • Non-negotiable behaviours that are mental gate keepers for me
  • The importance of reflecting and learning from mistakes
  • If your presence doesn’t make an impact your absence won’t make a difference
  • Your ability to learn and unlearn and go back and reflect on it
  • Enjoyed versus endured
  • Being happy in the moment is ‘high performance’
  • Ask yourself is this helpful for you or is it not – a powerful question to frame your conversations
  • Never have I ever said – the Dunning Kruger Law
  • The importance of understanding the ‘rules of the game’
  • Explain the rules of the game – then play out the FIFO effect.
  • Ambiguity is your big enemy – save in creating big issues by reducing ambiguity
  • Being kind to myself and then those around me
  • Taking 100% responsibility for the choices you make.


Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science by Jonathan Haidt

How do you prepare yourself to be the best version of you?

Spending time on my own

Managing my time

Learning to say no!


Who has made a big impact on you?

My farther

Tony Smith (Rugby League Coach)

Jake Humphrey (Friend, BT sport Commentator and High Performance Pod Co-host)


Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

The Boxer – Marvin Hagler


Coaching questions I would like to pose:


What are your non-negotiable behaviours and principles and why are they important to you?


What did your parents do that has had a major impact on your life and how?


What is it you need to do in order to ‘get your energy’ and give yourself time and space to reflect and make sense of what is going on in your life?



How do you demonstrate what you stand for and show your vulnerability?


What are you NOT taking 100% responsibility for? How might you change this and what might the benefit be?


What does your book collection say about you?


Contact info:

To make contact with Damian have a look at his website of get in contact with me and I will make the introduction.




Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.

He is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset and The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture. These have been translated into ten languages. He has also been nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend, Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. In 2013, his latest biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became the UK’s best selling sports biography.

He was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010.

He is the co-host of The High Performance Podcast, an acclaimed series of interviews with elite performers from business, sport and the arts, exploring the psychology behind sustained high performance.

He has served as a member of the coaching team for England Rugby League, Scotland Rugby Union and a wide range of international and national sporting teams.

His innovative and exciting approach has been praised by Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Roger Bannister, Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson.

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