Dr. Dave Alred MBE? If you don’t recognise the name then maybe the names of some of those he has coached will help; Jonny Wilkinson, The British & Irish Lions, England Cricket, Luke Donald. The list goes on.

Dave has helped individuals and teams to become the best in the world time and time again.

Dave Alred is a maverick amongst mavericks. Part innovator, part agitator and entirely committed to improving athlete performance, Dave is the Thomas Edison of elite sport. A fiercely independent thinker he is always striving for new means of addressing age-old performance problems blending science, medicine, honest graft and common sense to produce a constantly evolving spectrum of coaching inventions.

Dave Alred is a maverick amongst mavericks.

His compact, wiry frame supports a face of such character that it appears to be etched with stories of all those he has helped to sporting greatness. Think I’m exaggerating? Think again. Few people I’ve ever encountered can intimidate and engage in such equal measure. His perma-tan acquired from frequent work supporting athletes and businesses in Australia and California is more often than not accompanied by a perma-frown of concentration. When Dave fixes you with those twinkling blue eyes of his, there is no compromise. You either rise to the challenge or retreat into your own excuses. Those who fall into the latter category make up by far the longer list.

When I first met Dave I’d been blown away by a talk he’d just given and (unusually for me) determined to introduce myself. As is normal for someone regularly harangued by fans and followers he declined my initial attempts at an involved conversation. After all, he doesn’t suffer fools. I tried again the next week. And again the week after that. Finally we struck up a conversation that continues to this day. I think I won him over on persistence. Dave likes a tryer.

“Those who say I’m obsessed don’t understand the meaning of the word commitment”

Although he doesn’t deliberately court controversy Dave divides opinion in the sporting world. My take? Dave doesn’t fit into systems or organisational structures: those well-intentioned frameworks that can ultimately only stifle creativity and invention. And because he makes them uncomfortable they often shy from his challenges. He coined the phrase ‘the ugly zone’ and if you’re not prepared to go there, he’s not prepared to hang around for long in your comfort zone. As he says, “Those who say I’m obsessed don’t understand the meaning of the word commitment”.

Buckle up. It’s going to be one helluva ride.

Dave Alred is author of The Pressure Principle, available from Amazon or any good bookstore.