Phil Healy is an Irish international athlete competing in 100m, 200m and 400m events. She is the current 100M (11.28) and 200m (22.99) national record holder, becoming the first Irish female athlete to hold both in over 40 years. She has competed at European and World Championships both indoor and outdoor and recently finished 11th overall at the 2018 World Indoor Championships over 400m and 11th overall in the 200m at the 2018 European Championships. Phil competed at the world university games in Taiwan in 2017 and is a member of the 4x100m relay team that holds the national record.
Phil, originally from West Cork is now based in Waterford where she is studying for a Masters in Enterprise Computer Software and is part of their top quality scholarship program. Phil is also hoping to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games.
What has sport taught you about leadership?
Sport has definitely given me confidence both on and off the track. One thing my coach always says to me is not to look back in life with regret. I have a great team around me who only want the best for me. But as the athlete, you have to take ownership of what you are doing. Make things happen, in relation to performance and working with my team. With the confidence I have gained in sport it also equips me with other skills in relation to leadership including: communication, motivation for others and determination.
What are the essential components to building a winning team?
Trust – when I am part of such an individual sport, trust is definitely the key component, when I have a team working with me. They are there to help me to get the best performance and work with me. Whether that is coach/physio/psychologist. Your team is your core. But, most importantly with your coach. My coach adopts the whole holistic approach. It isn’t just how I perform at training, he encapsulates the whole picture examining all external factors. He will then make tweaks and changes based on everything as a whole. The relationship with your coach is of prime importance. To be a strong, powerful, hard-working and determined team as a unit.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Confidence – Because with confidence comes passion and trust. You will gain the belief in your ability with those characteristics. Know you are capable. With confidence, it will feed your passion, drive and determination. That is in any walk of life. If you believe you can do it, you won’t stop until you do.
If you could wind back the clock to when you were starting your sporting career what advice would you give yourself?
Belief right from the beginning. My coach always told me what I was capable of achieving but I would never fully believe it until I actually did. It isn’t an easy sport and very lonely at times. Therefore it is essential to work with the team around you, always strive for more and focus on yourself. Not other athletes. Be the best you can be.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
There are various leaders across different sectors who are creating awareness, especially in relation to women in sport, that is definitely a topical issue at the moment. There are numerous powerful women trying to show the importance of increasing the participation, attendance and coverage for women in sport. That’s a stance which will always have benefits.
In terms of leaders across the social media world females like Suzanne Jackson (sosue me) and Marissa Carter show their determination, passion and immense hard work to establish their business and beauty lines in such a competitive industry. Making it so dominant globally.