Today UK schools from around the country converge on Pierpont rowing lake in Nottingham for the annual National Schools Rowing Championship including our very own Sir William Borlase (aka ‘Team Borlase’).

Many of the talented Borlase squads will go far today, but others will be invariably disappointed. Such shortfalls can pay dividends as GB Rowing’s team psychologist Chris Shamrock outlines in his piece titled ‘Turning the Tide’. He overviews 5 key pieces of advice for being more resilient…

  1. Look for the positives.
  2. Take a holistic view.
  3. Move on quickly.
  4. Be clear about what success means to you.
  5. Use your support network.

Just as useful are his profiles featuring 3 elite athletes facing different adversities…

  1. Three-time losing Henley Royal Regatta finalist
  2. Training scuppered by illness
  3. The ninth man

I particularly appreciated the lattermost. It is a point I labour to get across the Sir William Borlase rowers I coach. Much as everyone wants to be in the top boat, it really takes at least 10 people to make a successful ‘8’. Unfortunately, it’s not like you can substitute someone in halfway through the way to give all athletes a chance to compete at a given event. As a result, those who don’t make the cut often ask themselves what is the point of all the hard work? The fact is that having them on the team is vital to the overall team’s success. Teenage life being what it is, you can count on other commitments not to mention various illnesses and injuries keeping a rower or two out of the boat most training sessions. If you don’t have a complement of some extra folks on the team, then the athletes never get to row as a full 8. Instead, the team has to go on the water out in a Four and a double or some singles. An okay backup plan, but not the ideal preparation. To make a truly championship boat, the ones who fail to make the top boat are your keys to long term success.

Go Team Borlase!