Behind The Scenes: Jeremy Holt
For the second successive week, the spotlight is on one of GB Speedway Team’s Performance Specialist as we shine a light on those making the team tick from the other side of the fence.
Jeremy Holt came to the GB Speedway Team in 2019 under the recommendation of Chris Neville and they have since been working in tandem to push the riders further than ever before.
Holt said: “It was Chris who persuaded me, not that I needed much persuading! I knew Chris from his time at Blackburn Rovers Football Club, we met to talk about performance cultures and when he got involved in Speedway he thought there was a culture required here.
“So I met with Rob and Vicky (GB Speedway Team Directors) and I thought it looked like an interesting project. I could see they were trying to transform the way it was being handled.”
Coming from a psychologist background, Holt has many high-performing teams on his CV. All the way from the Scotland Rugby Team to the GB Women’s Hockey Team that won Gold in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
He hadn’t been to watch Speedway or had any involvement until Neville persuaded him to join in 2019 and the program has come on leaps and bounds since.
Holt said: “It’s a fundamentally different setup now. 2019 was the start of us thinking about a performance program and we didn’t have one before.
“Chris Neville had started to do some physical work with the riders but it was still in its infancy.
“My first experience of Speedway anywhere was the Speedway of Nations semi-final in Manchester and I was only there to watch and learn how this sport was different to others.
“I think like most people who go to Speedway for the first time I was struck by how close to the action you were, you can see every moment of every race which is unusual in motorsport, the noise, the smell, the excitement.
“I could see there was a huge amount of opportunity to give the riders a better understanding of how to improve performances.”
Being successful with the teams and organisations he has worked with in the past, including the military, Holt knows how to create a winning environment and the aim is no different with GB.
“My job is really to help GB create a high performance environment and culture.” Holt said, “When you get into competition, pressure rises and so does your anxiety.
“Anxiety is a normal response to pressure but it makes you focus; it pumps you with adrenaline and helps you perform.
“A Speedway rider’s job is really simple, get on the start line with your equipment ready, totally relaxed and focused on the job which is to get off the line and get to the point on the first bend they need to be on.”