What does it mean to have conscious intent? To be fully engaged and intentionally focused is a critical ingredient for improving performance. Maintaining a clear focus when everything becomes hazy with fatigue and stress is certainly some thing I practice. It is something that I work on while engaged in any activity, in fact that is the greatest part you can practice it any time. Being clear about what, how and why creates a purposeful performance and intention is that capacity to transfer thought in to action. It is easy to switch off and go through the motions, but to stay present and aware is a challenge, at least initially. That’s why I love training by myself sometimes, it enables me to practice finding that clarity and to apply thought or mental image to action.Reflection is important to ensure that what you intent is realised and it is upon reflection that insights are gained about how to improve each session, each stroke, each race and each season. Clear intention is like a lazer. It penetrates through the power of unity. A diffused athlete is more likely to under perform than an athlete who is clear, drive and focused.
The upcoming post of the Oarsome Foursome 1996 race, I think is a great example of clear intent and rich reflection. The intent was to be within half a length of leader at the 1000m mark, and to attack from 1250m. The proceeding moments before were agreed that rhythm in the initial stages was critical to ensure good speed with out burning to much energy. The intent was clear and came from the many session were the group reflected on training & racing. It became obvious to all involved that this would be the best approach to achieve the outcome we desired.