Proud to be back with SBS Sport as a cross-platform producer and editor


I’m thrilled to share that I’m back working 1-2 days a week with SBS Sport digital team. I worked with this team from 2013-2018 before a complicated injury to my pelvis and sacrum meant I had to dramatically scale back my work capacity for a few years. During that time, I was beyond glad to continue working in research, slowly lifting my hours as my health became more robust again.

In returning to SBS, I’m not only proud to be working with a team I really admire and look up to, but I also feel a strong sense of pride and contentment for what this signifies about huge health gains over the last five years and the steps it’s taken to achieve them.

The digital team creates and curates content in whatever form we think will best reach different parts of our audience: articles, video, social, in-app, basically anything you consume on some kind of screen.

I arrived just in time to get skilled up before the Tour de France as a digital domestique. In addition to pumping out cross-platform content on the Tour itself, I’ve also enjoyed creating content that shares a bit about the expertise and passion of colleagues who are creating it.

If you’re someone who is interested in learning more about the behind-the-scenes of work in media, you might enjoy these two articles:

The #SBSTDF team share their most anticipated moments of the 2022 Tour de France

The #SBSTDF team on the moments they are most looking fowrad to in the 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

A lot has changed since I’ve been gone, but there is also a lot that is so welcoming in its familiarity: the rhythm of digital workflow routines, all kinds of stories to share from the sports world, and passionate, creative colleagues who are so motivated, collaborative and generous in their approach to content creation and distribution.

There is a much bigger focus now on video and on sports beyond, but still largely including, cycling and football. I’m thoroughly enjoying learning more about all of it.

To previous colleagues who are doing other things now: gee I miss you. I still draw on the many things I’ve learned from, and admire in, you all in roles outside of media as well. When it comes to article titles, subheaders, social media, and much more, one line that echos through my mind often is from my previous SBS supervisor Phil Gomes: ‘Just say what’s in the can.’

It’s such a joy to be opening up more cans again and sharing the contents that lie inside. I hope you enjoy some of this multi-platform content too.

On failing and learning. Together. Mit Elefanten.

An ethnographic method prioritises participant observation, the context which surrounds these observations, and how the events observed are meaningfully experienced by the participants themselves. This enables researchers to tell a story that reflects the interaction between events, in real-world situations, that happen over long and short timescales. This moves analysis away from a single moment, say an experiment in a lab, and opens it out to consider how something that happened a day, week, year, or more ago may have contributed to what was said, or done, during another moment of interest. Done well, ethnographic work challenges theoretical assumptions made without a broader contextual understanding of the phenomena in question and raises multiple questions about new areas to study or investigate using a range of techniques.

When Kristina Brümmer, an energetic, joyful and passionate sports sociologist from the University of Oldenburg in Germany, visited our Cognitive Ecologies Lab at Macquarie University in Sydney in 2019, we were both excited to discover that ethnographic research on sports training was something we shared. She’d been using this method to study skilled performance processes in gymnastics and football teams, I’d been using it to study skill learning on the trapeze.

Continue reading “On failing and learning. Together. Mit Elefanten.”

Editors’ introduction: the situated intelligence of collaborative embodied skills (preprint)

People move together, and do things together, all the time. We play and work and talk and suffer together, finding ease or joy, sharing pleasure or grief. We discover challenge, thrill and risk.

Joint actions may involve physical, manual or technical skill, and may rely on tools, technologies and ordinary old objects. Collaborative actions also involve situated intelligence, a dynamic, lively and social form of cognition. This book is a celebration and exploration of these things: the dizzying variety of remarkable ways that people move and think together, in unique places and settings, at a time and over time.

In initial orientation to the book’s topics, we introduce in turn the five key concepts which animate it: performance, body, collaboration, cognition and ecology. We briefly describe the domains of performance in question here, its bodily or ‘embodied’ nature, the forms of collaboration addressed, the role of intelligence or ‘cognition’ in expert movement and the notion of ‘ecologies of skill’.

Sutton and Bicknell, Introduction: The situated intelligence of collaborative skills

John Sutton and I are beyond thrilled to share that our edited collection, Collaborative Embodied Performance: Ecologies of skill, is now available!

Continue reading “Editors’ introduction: the situated intelligence of collaborative embodied skills (preprint)”

Lighthouse interview: challenges for athletes at an Olympics with no spectators (and five billion other Covid-related factors)

One of the big questions people are asking in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics is how athletes are going to react to competing in an empty stadium – or alternate venue – without a spectator in sight. I was interviewed about this by Fran Molloy back in April, for Macquarie University’s Lighthouse. This was back when it looked like domestic spectators would be allowed.

Continue reading “Lighthouse interview: challenges for athletes at an Olympics with no spectators (and five billion other Covid-related factors)”

Embodied intelligence in skilled performance. New journal article published in the Review of Philosophy and Psychology

To perform consistently in the face of ongoing fluctuations in and from multiple sources, skilled performers must work with, rather than against, variability. This means developing strategies for monitoring fluctuations, for predicting their potential impacts.

Bicknell, K. Embodied Intelligence and Self-Regulation in Skilled Performance: or, Two Anxious Moments on the Static Trapeze. Rev.Phil.Psych. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-021-00528-

My paper, Embodied intelligence and self-regulation in skilled performance: or, two anxious moments on the static trapeze, was recently published in the Review of Philosophy and Psychology. This article is part of a special issue on skilled action control edited by Myrto Mylopoulous and Elisabeth Pacherie, two skill(ed) scholars I really hope to meet one day when borders open and international travel is a thing again!

Given the number of academic disciplines I work in and across (performance studies, cognitive science, philosophy, anthropology, among others) and my desires for research to be accessible to a range of readers and genuinely reflect real world experiences, this new journal article weaves together a few different interests. It’s about skill theory and my transdisciplinary take on it, managing physiological and psychological fluctuations, and working with anxiety (not against it). It’s also about trapezes, vampires, helping hands, a lifetime of bike riding, several years of physio, and the joys of cognitive ethnography, theory building and inhabiting a determined body.

Continue reading “Embodied intelligence in skilled performance. New journal article published in the Review of Philosophy and Psychology”