Duncan Holland writes;
I watched the first day of the rowing this morning, what a day for the Kiwis! Seven of the New Zealand crews were on the water today and they brought home five first places and two seconds.
Qualifying eight boats for this regatta was a great performance, and it looks as if the New Zealanders are out to carry on what they have been doing for the last few years and be one of the top rowing teams in the world. How do they do it?
I am an outsider these days and have little knowledge of what goes on in the Kiwi camp but I have noticed a fascinating thing; the Kiwi rowers are cheerful! I have coached in five countries and have either been in the national team or coached athletes in the team in all of them. In the other four my memories of the team are largely of people bitching and grumbling about other crews or about the management.
Observing the New Zealanders over the last four years the most obvious difference from the others is that they are basically happy. They enjoy themselves and seem largely content with their coaches and management.
Most teams these days talk about being athlete centred, the Kiwi rowers seem to have found out how to do it. I believe this is the secret to their success.
I hope and believe the Kiwis are on their way to a record success these games. If so then maybe they can lead a movement to put fun back into sport!