Team GB’s exploits at the Olympics are giving us some great news. I think we can all learn from them. Here’s my rowing eight (but feel free to add!)
Focus on your own efforts, rather than agitating about what others are doing, vide Christine Ohurougu.
Great individuals can also be sensational team players. Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins may be devastatingly quick individuals but they were also supremely disciplined in the team events.
Always have a trick or two up your sleeve. Rebecca Adlington was not on the list of “bound to’s” in the medal-winning assessments. I didn’t hear a thing about Germaine Mason’s potential before he won a silver in the high jump.
Make sure you have strength in depth. Kristina Cook won a bronze medal in the equestrian arena, having only come into the squad as a late replacement for world champion Zara Phillips.
Don’t settle for second. Prime example: the distraught faces of the women’s quad sculls. A British silver medal had just been won, in the face of fierce competition from one of the best squads of the home nation. It was no consolation. It was gold or nothing.
Be willing to learn new disciplines. Cue Rebecca Romero.
Practise, intensely. Here’s Chris Hoy: “If I’d even missed one session, I would have lined up with doubt and fear in my mind. What would happen if I lost the gold by” one thousandth of a second, because there was a training session I skipped or didn’t give my all to?”
Don’t be deterred by things going wrong. The genius of Ben Ainslie is that he can turn around a race or, indeed, a sequence of races, when things aren’t going so well.
Endurance – or even survival – is a team effort. Take a look at Keri-Ann Payne and Cassi Patten in the 10km swim, or Nicole Cook and Emma Pooley in the cycle road race.
When it comes to the crunch, get ruthless. Ask Paul Goodison.
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