Here’s the first of a short series of Thought Pieces written in the run up to the London Olympics by one of our coaches who’s closely involved.

We’d be delighted if any of them prove useful for you in your performance and equally delighted if you feel inclined to forward to link to anyone you think might be interested.

Would you win your place on your team?

In the March of 2012 members of British Rowing Team were involved in a primitive form of torture called seat racing (used as a selection tool for the Olympic team)! This process involves the coaches putting several crews on the water at once, in the same type of boats and having them race over a set distance. After some recovery time (and hopefully a maintenance of weather conditions!) members of the crews are swapped over and the race is raced again. Through this method, the coaches can begin to get a direct comparison between different athletes so that they can determine who makes boats go fastest when they’re in them! It’s a challenging physical scenario, but it’s also challenging psychologically as you’re effectively going head to head to someone who is your team mate and you may have even won world medals with in the same boat as them in the not too distant past.

Whilst the rotations of athletes continue and the races continue, Olympic dreams are being shattered, kept alive, reborn or turned into a nightmare! All of this testing takes place regardless of the results you delivered last year. The coaches are looking to find the best possible crews for the 2012 Olympics and simply choosing the same athletes that were successful last year might actually mean consigning yourself to working with a crew that is not as it could be THIS YEAR.

Even though these people are some of the best on the planet at rowing, they still have to demonstrate their contemporary value. This keeps everyone constantly striving to find out how good they might be, rather than depending upon how good they’ve been in the past.

If your team was about to have the equivalent of seat race to select the best performers for 2012, would you make it onto the team? What are you doing to make sure that you’re the best possible performer you can be for your team in 2012? Are you ready to be great this year?