Happy Camp

This has taken me a number of days to get to. The National camp for the Mens sweep program was held in Canberra from 4th to 9th Jan. Obviously in the last post I shared some of the experience of going to the National cycling time trial two days later. What happened at camp though?

Well it was a happy camp and I say this in a good way. Upon arriving I was keen to see e other athletes and to see how people felt about some of us returning to the fold. This question of returning for me was interesting because in the past it was often not positive as an experience for the returning athletes or those already in the system. What was positive though was that by the end of the camp I felt comfortable working with many of the athletes and enjoyed sharing the insights and questions that have come from 15 plus years of elite competition.

This is a great thing for a few reason. It will help me to enjoy the experience over the next two years. The learning and sharing that can take place will benefit all of us. It can be a two way street with the flow of energy boosting all we do. I personally prefer feeling connected to people and that competition can be a positive stimulus rather than what has been the experience in the past with our team being fractured and some what destructive. This may some dramatic but I recall years gone by when so much attention was not on performance rather on what other were doing or being allowed to do.

This is refreshing and I enjoyed much of the camp for this reason. What else was great was to have a skills focus with more time on water given to developing a combination and finding how to maximize boat speed. Some simple measure taken at rate 18-20 strokes per minute, rate steps from 18-24 and 20-26, and finally some running 15 stroke efforts around race pace. Simple measure when combine with working on how to best move the boat and bringing each combination together meant it felt very productive. This was all done with two rowing session before lunch and the afternoon where free for cross training and wts.

Our camp this time was done in fours which was cool because I felt it gave an opportunity to get a better feel for who we were in the boat with. In the past our camps have been eights rowing with a mix of pair or four. Often I came away not feeling like I had improved or that I had a very good idea or sense as to what others were doing well.

The camp was a positive improvement on the past. This is important as I believe the group of guys I will be involved with from the Mens heavy sweep group can get some great results if we all work together.

On a personal note out of the camp I have a pair partner to work with and a four which will race in the coming months. Its good to have a sense of this with out getting to far down the track. Josh Dunkley-Smith and I will row the pair going forward which I am excited about as he is a young talent who is showing real interest in learning and improving. As for the four we will race it includes, Sam Conrad who I have race with in fours heaps over the year since 2006 and Duncan plus Josh. We trained this four for the last two days of the camp and I enjoyed getting a feel for what might be possible.

For now it is about continuing my prep and testing my back. It's about finding the time to get in the pair and four. It's about working with the whole squad to enable the best performances all round. Simply put if we set our standards high enough all else will flow. This relates to concentration, improvement, speeds, adaptability and harmony. My expectation are super high and as my confidence with my back continues to build I will become very specific about how we maximise the opportunities ahead of us.


Anonymous said…
Mate, I hear that you're in discussion with RA over a bonus payment based on performance in 2012. Sounds great for you, but how do you think your team mates will feel, given they've done the same work?
Unknown said…
Firstly that fact you are calling me mate is interesting considering your message is anonymous.

Let me responded as I am though. I can speak for others as to how they would feel about any such scheme. Unfortunately my discussion with RA have not related to a bonus payment based on performance. I did propose various ways to support athletes some 18 months ago. It went something like this. Something like each athlete should put to gather a business case including objectives, resources required, budget or funding needed and who would be involved to achieve the outcomes identified. Simple stuff really. Based on this proposal athletes would have to identify targets, events as performance indicators to ensure they keep their funding. I basically suggested this idea to many people and the catch was not more money for a performance like a bonus but rather the idea of paying money back if targets are not achieved. I would like to see rowers receive more funding personally. But I don't think it should be a hand out with out expectations or consequences for lack of performance.

A little bit of history needs to be understood. The current funding after each Olympic games is set from the medals won. Rowing gets more money for Gold medals basically. That's great news right. The athletes who achieve those medals get very little of that. This means the sport benefits and this who come after those results benefit. I believe this helps the sport. This is something I am proud of as an athlete who has been luck on a few occasions to get those results. So my anonymous friend I feel quiet ok about putting ideas forward about how to best support athletes while ensure performance is the focus. Specifically though you are referring to discussions which are speculative as I have never spoken about bonus payments. So can I say politely that if you are going to mention bullshit like this you at least get your facts right and keep things in context and I would suggest as my friend mate you might like to step out of hiding from that anonymous shadow. I will write something about all this on the blog in a post because one positive you have highlighted here is how people speculate. Unfortunately if you are representative of more that one person then that is a worry because I was under the impression the National team had moved beyond this type of stuff. That would be me speculating now which simple if a waste of time and energy which won't get those results in 2012 which I was lead to believe people think matter. So I have chosen to responded to your question is will you have the courage to step up from behind the closed door. Seek me out and ask this type of question of me personally next time. Could hurt we might all learn something.who,
Anonymous said…
I don't mean to cause offence, but this issue appears to be common gossip amongst parts of the rowing community. So, no better way to set things staight than to ask a simple question. I certainly don't want to speculate.

However, say you were in discussion with RA over a bonus. Why be coy about it? surely your status as multiple gold medalist deserves recognition.

All power to you on your attempts to secure funding. Athletes need as much support as they can get.

I'll stay anon so that we address the issues rather than the individual.
Unknown said…
Curious now anon....what issues? I assume more than one now you have gone plural.

As for being anon I can say I think you need to consider and share you interest and motives with the mystery. I wonder why you feel I am being coy as at least I provided my explanation as to why and how anyone might feel I have or am broking a deal relating to performance bonuses come 2012. Also thought I made my self pretty clear, but maybe your agenda indicates a bias of sort and this to may relate to your lack of confidence to disclose who you are. Say to me may be insecure in some way.

I invite you to contact me out side of this medium as you seem to either be full of rubbish, in someone think this is all a funny joke or you someone close to the situation of selection and funding. If you care why don't you email me directly.


This way I can at least set you straight rather than you continue wasting you time on this so called common gossip.

Still keen to hear more about these issues you refer to too... Sounds juicy

Until next time I will just be waiting and watching my Swiss bank account can't wait until that 2 mill bonus comes through. 2012 is a sure thing so I have asked them to post the medals and money now save waiting huh.

That would be fools gold and not anything I worry about. By the way anon do you care how my training is going?
Reggie said…
In response to Anonymous.....
Mate, your mischievous and offensive intent, is exceeded only by your ignorance, envy and supreme lack of courage.
As for gossip, we were taught to live by the adage....
Do not repeat anything, you will not sign your name to!!

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