Post Rep, Observations & Speculations
Yesterday we raced our rep and came through pretty well. The guys have been great with how we are working together to improve each time we go out. As for the race itself it was a big improvement from 7 weeks ago in Lucern. I mention this because the ability to get through racing with out smashing the system is key to success in the racing at the end of the week. Back in Lucern each hit out had us working to hard for boat speed. During the rep yesterday the positive was to find some extra speed early and be able to transition well into a rhythm that was quiet effective. It's been no secret that we have had to work as a combination to find harmony and easy speed. Personally I am not worried about weather we will find better speed and an easier collective movement as each time we race it becomes clearer I think for us as a combination.
There is something about racing which is the ultimate learning experience for any team. Over the years it become a simple strategy to race less as we had a great sense of what we needed in those pairs to perform. This season has brought thing back to the rawness of learning that only comes when you are out there in the thick of competition. To find clarity amongst the franticness of racing is key and to be able to learn to trust each other, to support each other, to believe in each other and to appreciate each other is a huge part of how any team preforms in the big moments.
We still have a long way to go and things can go down many paths from here. It has always been about making choices, have the best attitude and willingness to direct and harness our energies towards a clear goal. Ours is boat speed and effectiveness of movement. Next stop our semi final and one I think will require great composure and some serious commitment. Plus I think we will have some fun. It would seem even starting officials can make jokes and make us laugh. Just before starting the rep Josh was warned for not having matching calf protectors. Are they serious? Surely it was a joke so we all had a good laugh before we started. Seems laughter is great for relaxation as we started well and it was pretty loose.
As for some observations.. Not all races but a few
Our Women's pair did an amazing job yesterday after the stroke seat has been changed due to a medical condition. Its a horrible thing for an athlete to miss out like this and for the girls to get on with the job and show a great capacity to deal with the change is amazing. Then today they have come out and taken a bronze. Very cool work. The New Zealand girls showed why they are number one with a gritty, never say die row. The closest margin of the races so far I think. GB did pretty much everything right but it's hard we you have a crew that just keeps going like that. Its a hallmark of many New Zealand crews.
The Slovenian Double, Spike and Cop are fantastic. Just watched their semi and its great to see them going well. Our Australian Mens double is look very dangerous now and the guys are building well to great form for this event and beyond. The New Zealand double is great they just keep pushing it all the way.
Watched the LWT Mens four semi's and some great racing with what will be a huge final tomorrow. What was impressive was the Italian crew with a sweet movement and some ease about what they were doing. GB and Australia obviously look like they can do it all again and I get the sense our guys have been building towards something special all year.
Men's eight was just raced and you have to hand it to the German's they are maintaining their form. I am sure GB will be frustrated and critical of themselves. As for our Australian eight the guys did everything right and it was a drag race to the end. Really sorry for them as they were so close.
As for speculations... Sorry, the bull shit is something I am not interested in. I ain't going to speculate that's for people with to much time and energy. Just thought I would put it up there to make a point.
Racing going forward has semi's and finals and they are spread over the next three days. Anything can happen. The name of the game is to hold your nerve. Do what you have trained to do. Be bold. Trust the process and race like there are no more to come. Many will run senario, what if's, but it all just a waste. Once the buzzer goes you're either on your game or not. You're either full committed or pretty much taking up a lane. What needs attention though is being appreciative of the motivation that comes with semi's, final, qualifying etc. Make no mistake each opportunity is rare and if wasted then any athlete is foolish.
At my age I am more aware of this than ever before. The thought that each race is either my last or getting me very close to my last is a great motivator. When I was young I just got really nervous but loved the feeling of letting it all hang out. Taking risks was a key to success. These days it has taken me some time to find or be aware of whats the head space required now I am back in the game. Know what? I still love taking the risks. I still get bloody nervous and yet I am more comfortable with it all now.
We have a semi on Sat and that is all that matters now. Until then we rest, prepare and have fun.