Jack Beaumont is a British rower who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is part 4 of his exclusive interview with Ashwyn Lall, founder of Ash’s Sports Talk. Jack shares his journey to the Olympic final, his views on planning for life after sport, developing a positive mindset, and his views on showcasing rowing as a sport for everybody. Parts of the interview have been edited for reading comfort. (Click the link to read the other parts of his interview: part one, part two and part three).
Part 4 – Jack’s advice for rowers during COVID-19, role models, and personal setbacks
Ashwyn Lall: Throughout COVID-19, what advice can you give to aspiring athletes/current athletes to keep themselves in the best condition physically and mentally?
Jack Beaumont: Our Team has been incredibly supportive and have given everyone a rowing machine to keep home. Thankfully, I also live in an area where it is nice to go cycling, so I have that as an opportunity to do a different form of exercise. My timescale has been impacted enormously. I was training for Tokyo 2020 this year which has been postponed until 2021. I was expected to be rowing in a world cup in Switzerland this week. But instead I am training in a garage.
I have seen this as an opportunity, as I now have a year to get better for Tokyo 2021. I have not had the best performances over the past year, so now I have a chance to put that right. For me it is also nice to be training in a different environment. Usually I am training in national training centres, which operate quite strictly. It is refreshing to have the freedom to do things differently and to have a change of scene. I am doing more cross-training, and I am confident that I will come back as a faster rower for it.
I haven’t found it hard to stay positive. I am staying with my dad at the moment and we have space. We have a garage and a garden and live in the countryside. I appreciate it is harder when living in a smaller environment.
My first bit of advice for dealing with the lockdown is to stay in touch with your teammates. Use them to help motivate you and share training ideas. Also, see what you can get from this situation. We cannot control this situation. What we can control is how we can behave in this situation. I am trying my best to see this situation as an opportunity rather than a problem.
Reflecting on your experience in professional sport, who have been the key role models to getting you where you are today?
My role models have always been my parents. They are great supporters, and they live their lives in an inspiring way.
My teammates are my role models as well. In rowing, everyone is interdependent and plays an equal role. Rowing is not like other sports such as football where different players add different values, I see my teammates as equals. We all do the same training, in the same boat, and help each other to improve. We are competitive, but we also have a healthy level of respect for one another.
When you experience failure or setbacks, what approach do you take to obtain a positive mindset? Also, how important is that mindset to achieving sporting success?
I recently thought about this as I have had many tough times this year when I have not performed as well as I would like. When I have a setback, I try to reflect on what I have done well. I keep my logs of training data as a resource to review my performance and critically analyse and evaluate what the trends are when I am performing well, and when I am not. My training data always shows that after my bad performances, there are also good performances. This shows the bad times are not forever. Through looking at my training diary and summaries I can pick up patterns of what works well for me. This pandemic has left me with more time on my hands which has allowed me to reflect more on my training to understand what I can be doing better.
Read about Jack’s take on showcasing rowing as a sport for everybody and giving back to the community in our fifth and final part of this exclusive interview to be published next Saturday …
(First published at https://ashsportstalk.org/. Parts of the interview have been edited for reading comfort.)