Duncan Holland writes;
I promised yesterday to tell you how we got on today in the Cambridge Town Bumps . The answer is; very well. We managed to get our third bump of the week and stand on the edge of a clean sweep and the right to Blades.
It was an instructive afternoon for me. Again I found myself having to do what I normally tell others to do. I have a fixed pre-race routine and it got disrupted yesterday when some guests we were expecting got lost and were late arriving. This threatened to make me late. It wasn’t a real threat as we had a Plan B, but I found myself exhibiting classic pre-race nerve symptoms. I had to use some of the skills I try to teach to athletes and remind myself that there was an alternative, that we had a built in time reserve. A good reminder that even the most experienced of us need to remember the basics, and that a plan with built in safeguards is worthwhile.
The crew performed well. We managed to execute the plan we had made, managed to structure our race better, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Now we have a chance to achieve what would be, for us, a significant step. Blades would be a good effort; we have to make sure that we don’t slip up at the last hurdle. Just as a crew that has won a semi-final at a Championship will try to focus on what to do in the final, not on the possibility of winning, we must try to live by the mantra ‘process not outcome’. If we go out to race thinking of what might be we risk losing. We must again think of what to do, listen to the cox’n, the coach, and think of what makes the boat fast, not what we want to achieve.
The event is local, the absolute level not great, but the skills we need tonight are the same ones the big boys will need at the Olympics. And we are having fun, I hope they do too!