Purposeful Practice


*boat loading at Carrum final the sun comes out.

During last week we had a couple of phone hook ups with a friend of mine, Dr Jeff Simons. He’s a psychologist and lives in the states with his family but was working out here in Australia for many years with the VIS other sporting clubs and sports.

Anyway longs story short Jeff gets out to Australia a couple of times a year as he is still involved with a great charity that we both work within years ago, Bluearth Institute. So on his recent visit we caught up and had a great chat as always and at the end it became clear it would be pretty amazing to see if we could get him involved with our four.

First challenge would be getting time with him that adds value. He and Chris our coach got together to flesh out some ideas about hoe it might work and we set about getting to know Jeff as a group via two phone hook ups. He asked us some questions and gave us a few themes to consider. One of these being purposeful practice. This struck a cord as he explained many things around intention, habits, actions, control, memory etc. it was all interesting stuff and as the five of us sat back here in Australia with our Internet connection, Jeff made links and connections to some models and understandings about how we could perform better.

We have worked to be more deliberate about what we do. Not in a way that is clinical but simple present, aware and responsive. We are focused on rowing better and obviously faster. Many things might make a difference but there is also loads of stuff that’s just not going to helps us specifically. Having another perspective from Jeff to help us see things clear is really worthwhile and I can see that if we cut through the noise and hone in on our collective thread we will do things differently and better.

We are now fast approaching the time to wrap up preparations here in Australia. Today we are heading back up to Sydney to meet up with the whole National team to do some racing.


*pick up from Cobber to head to Carrum has become a seamless process including coffee hand over once I open my door.


*Josh showing us how it’s done. He has really leant to apply him self now which is great to see.

This morning was our last morning at Carrum to do some sharpen up work for this week. While here we will do two 2000m races to see where things are at and to see how we have come out of heavy training. I am not expecting anything great yet but that’s not to say I would be happy with poor performances. We will keep the work up while here as the long term is more important. It will be about translating all we have been learning and working on including on water and off the water elements to put them all to the test.

Here’s to the final phase of our Australian preparations and seeing the whole team back together. Purposeful practice will be a great reminder all week and I am looking forward to racing.

We also all took note of World Cup 1 racing and no surprises in the four as GB took it out. Really looking forward to seeing how we compare this year. Seems stand out performances in other events with Women’s pair and Men’s Quads going very fast. Danish LWT four was good to see them show some early season form.

That’s real it from this end. Some racing ahead, then home to enjoy last few days with family before packing and traveling over to Switzerland. The challenge is clear. Our preparations are on track and I am loving the feeling of building to an ultimate moment. Building, building, building and in all this we will continue to have great purpose in much of what we do. Can only work so hard. It will be about boat feel, rhythm and flow.

Not to forget…
PB this week was done on our 6×6 step test ergo session. More watts with very slight increase in lactate and no change in heart rate. Seems this little system is building and trending upwards which is satisfying.

One thought on “Purposeful Practice

  1. Good that you've got Slothy on the job. Give him time, and he'll have the boat on the water ready for you to saunter down to…Oly 4- final, I reckon.

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