Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Yep Yep, is a great way to let someone know when your coming past on a bike. This is when you're on a group ride and want to ensure the surge of speed doesn't catch the lead rider off guard to much. Yep yep, works as its simple and can be said with urgency and joy. The excitment of the surge and the rush of the acceleration is outstandingly tangible. So why am I saying it here?
Simple I have been off the radar, the charter and yet still very much in the game and so it like I am surging from the group to laye down this post and to share a surge of energy on my blog. A blog which has sat dorment from my perspective and still funny how users are active as the email notifications show people reading old posts. Interesting to have writen it for so many years as an athlete and to know find myself for the last 12 months transition in my new role as National Team Head Coach.
Today I spoke to someone about learning to be in a coaching boat and learning not to be out in a rowing boat and probably more importantly coming to grips with not being engaged in the process of rowing a boat. To not be engaged daily with crew mates and my coaches is somewhat strange and I am probably coming to grips with the reality of the change in my life. I still have motivations, drive and so often I become annoyiong in the coaching boat because its not my boat or my crew and yet I get the feeling and thoughts of what it might be like and what might be possible. I am active and yet at the same time inactive. I am thinking and working to let go of certain thoughts. I am wanting and relaising its not about my want. Frustration flashes into my presence and yet I am not the one who should feel it.
All this is strange and so I guess this post is about just acknowledging it and to say I am aware of my role and still working out what I can write about as I can't just blurt out thoughst and ideas, experiences or examples as they are not nessecarially mine to share. I am working out what I can share and so I have layed low and stayed off the charter but today I thought I could venture into this space and provide a few things.
This was prompted by the interview yesterday which I posted about earlier. I thought after taling to Rebecca that I should consider engaging through my blog again but that I need to think about how to best do this.
For now I will share something simple. I watched rowing today and loved it. I love seeing a few boats working things out. I really loved seeing one of our team top athletes appearing to be coming through a challenging period since the games. The visual reward was seeing significant change and the sense of celebration I felt.
Simple reminders - Posture / extension / connection / drive / posture ... I was glorious to see and yet still untested I felt like the smile I had on my face when talking to him was a sign of just how enjoyable my role can be as Head Coach. Seeing change. Seeing challenge. Seeing reward. Its a pleasure and one I am learning to acknowledge and come to terms with as the new perspective is such a different one from the past.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
- Being part of the many changes with the Australia Rowing Team through my role as Head Coach.
- Developing some great relationships with other National coaches that I am learning greatly from. Obviously my role is to help lead our direction and setting the strategy with the High Performance Team has me involved in being the connector to our National Coaches.
- Watching and seeing in 12 months some great advances in our athletes group. We now have some solid performers as key benchmarks in each of our categories. This was seen at the recent Dec TT's with many athletes and crews positioning themselves at the front of each category with very credible performances which show some positive trending.
- Having our Category Lead Coaches take up the challenges of planning and leadership with each of their categories. This is a great initiative and one I feel will make a great difference as we continue forward with categories like our ParaRowing, Women's Sculling, Men's Sweep, Women's Sweep, Men's Sculling, Men & Women's LWT Sculling and Sweeping.
- We are about to go live with out Athlete Learning & Performance Planning.. Yes this has taken some work behind the scenes and many contributors and finally we are close to launching it with our Athletes and we serve as a platform for further reflection, analysis, action and sharing and collaboration between athletes and coaches.
- Another highlight has been working with some great people at Rowing Australia. Its been amazing with working with Chris O'Brien in our different roles and to be again working with Jaime Fernandez who I rowed with way back in 1995. Wayne Diplock was a 1992 Olympian in the eight with Jaime and its been great working with him in the HP Team, with Chris and Jaime. Add to this all the people from the RA centre in Canberra who make everything happen. Plus we have a unique situation with all the key State Institute Head Coaches and staff involved in rowing, its amazing the network of people which reaches out through coaches, athletes, states, clubs and all the providers of services like medical, physio, sport science, S&C, massage and the list goes on. Being part of this is pretty bloody amazing and unique.
- My final two highlights are being able to enjoy the precious time with my family when home. Our kids are growing up so fast and I have traveled a lot this year but the reward has been when home just making the most of the time together. Recent we got the kids new bike and I found myself in the park near by in St Kilda with my wife just watching them ride around and around. I joy was a pleasure to watch. My wife has been an exceptional support through this last year. Its strange and exhilarating to think we have been married since 1999.
- Finally 7 weeks ago I made a decision to get my self fit and health again. With all the travel in 2013 I was starting to feel physically poor. The contrast to being an athlete training daily had increased and so I decided a change was required. I set my mind to getting back on the bike and thought simply I just need to get a routine going and break the back of feeling unhealthy. The first two weeks was the hardest but after those two weeks of 500km's I was away and have since settled in to a routine of 450-550km per week with 12 - 16 hrs of activity. I now feel heaps better and am loving being back on the bike.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
ARTeam - Vision & ValuesOver the last 7 months working with the Australian Rowing Team has been great and yet we have only just started to scratch the surface of whats possible and whats needed. It will be years before we as a High Performance Leadership Team see the outcome of many of the decisions and initiatives we have started with and with so much more to come it will be interesting to see what ca be created. This is all combined with a team of coaches and athletes from all over Australia. With all the different centres and locations we have been working to support each to be the best training environment it can be. Its the teams of people at each centre which will make this happen so our HP Leadership Team are really only the guides and initiators.
With Chris O'Brien as Director and Jamie Fernandez as his deputy, then Wayne Diplock as our operations and team manager its been great to build our small team to help guide and work for our whole team. Now this is not all, but we have National leaders in various fields from medical, physiotherepy, sport science, strength & conditioning, psychology, and nutrition. With this comes a vast network of practitioners and specialists working specifically with all our key coaches in each major training centre. So we have all these satellite centres all working to be the best they can be and what we have been working hard to create is the engagement, connection, the integration and closeness which is critical give the vastness of our Country.
This is one of the main reasons for creating this single page for the ARTeam Vision & Values. Its been part of a review process which began after London and has included much of the work and meeting with athletes, coaches and support staff.
Thought I would share it here ...
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
In 1996 I recall the Dutch eight doing work on the course while we trained in the four. We did a lot of paddling on speed and each lap they were doing sets of 20 plus strokes on rate 40 and making it look easy. they looked like they had so much time. The relaxation was amazing. The call would get made as they came up behind us and sitting in the bow of the four I could see the whole crew swinging together so smoothly but with a loose speed which was exciting. All great memories. Should add here to the best argument I have had with the crew I am in happened in 96 with the four. It had to do with if fish feel the cold. I will leave the rest as it become quiet absurd but in retrospect bloody funny.
After this I started thinking about the times I had raced on the Bosbaan. Then a funny thing happened. The team manager Wayne Diplock and I were under the tent near the finish line when I guy came up and introduced him self. He made mention of an eights race in 1998 which we put together the two Australian fours. The Sydney based four was winning selection races in Australia and our Melbourne based four had raced them over the year since the guys returned to the sport post 1996 Olympic break. So this guy started talking about this Australian eight that went close to breaking the World record and asked if I was Drew, from the crew. I said yes and he said the cox who assisted us during the event who was Dutch was at the event today. Wilem was his name and this guy brought him over to meet up after all these year. So there we were talking about that day. He was really a club cox who was available to help us out. From start to finish he just kept saying this is very good, very F&%k'n good. The when he asked by our stroke James Stewart to call us up to the line the little English he knew at the time was used. I recall F Off being used for each step and we went within .2sec of the WBT. It was heaps of fun and I remember thinking those are the experience in rowing which stay with you. So today I got to relive it all over again.
Then I thought about going to Amsterdam in 2000 after the Vienna World Cup when I had made it back after my serious back injury that year. I must admit going to the Bosbaan on this occasion was short sighted and with miserable conditions my back started playing up again and we pulled out of the racing if I recall currently. Two weeks later I was out of Lucern and thought my rowing career was over.
You could say I have had some great experiences on the Bosbaan and mixed also. Over the last two days it was great to fly in and watch Kim Crow our Australian WX1. So new memories now are seeing her take on a classy International field with the current Olympic and the former Olympic champions in the Women's single scull. Kim made a simple statement of intent and has set her International season up well. After the racing she said we need to get apple pie and so our small group headed up to the cafe and enjoyed the best bloody apple pie with ice cream and cream I think I have ever had. Another great memory.