As the sun sets and the Oceania Open closes, and yet another National Team selection race concludes I am emotionally exhausted. As a coach I believe and feel for all athletes I work with past and present.
Photo: Oceania Open at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.
As an ex-athlete I understand the necessity for emotional detachment when racing to be clinical in decision making and handle the controlled physical aggression needed to perform at one’s best….BUT, I also understand it’s absolutely necessity for the emotional ‘drive & need’ to win.
Photo: 15 year old Tristan Carter, the first person on the venue pre-race mentally preparing… He finished 2nd U18 that day against boys twice his physical size – Proving technique, pacing and confidence will take you a long way!
Ultimately it’s the people that ‘want and need’ to win with ‘no concept of failure’ that most consistently achieve their goals.
I am proud and privileged to have shared that emotional journey with many athletes and believed in every one.
To those who shone today I say ‘congratulations, it is truly well deserved!’
To the others I say ‘tomorrow holds opportunity… It is another day for training and there is another race just around the corner.’
Special mention to Australian Athletes:
Tristan Carter – for making the Junior Team at just 15 years old.
Robin Jeffery – for delivering a win when needed.
Jess Fox – for holding her head above outside positive distractions to win. (Red Bull filming is cool)
Roslyn Lawrence – for winning (about time!)
Jaxon Merritt – you have cemented your place.
Photo : Jaxon Merritt by Tom Collings, Australian Canoeing
To the USA Team boys: It’s been a pleasure! During a very hard camp and ending on a race… WOW… When physically tired you held your own very well indeed.
Casey Eichfild – glimpses of awesomeness, there is greatness there!
Bug (aka Zachary Lokken) – keep nailing those blistering ups and running the boat like a champion!
Michal Smalon – even without a day’s rest, you proved you are formidable!
Ricki Powell – You are truly TOP GUN… (and quite possibly my new hero!)
Congratulations to all competitors both senior and junior, national and international. It’s been a blast 🙂