At the beginning of the year I took the initiative to support the Dutch Olympic Sailing Team. They needed more money to send all teams fully prepared to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. I’ve introduced them to my clients and together we prepared workshops and presentations. We didn’t ask money upfront but left it to the clients what the value of our efforts was worth to them.
I enjoy working with top atletes and their coaches. Anyone who says that business is topsport doesn’t know what he is talking about. The dedication of these young sailors is astonishing: 225 days in a boat traveling all over the world. They want to learn every day. They set goals before they push their boat in the water and debrief with their coach and training partners when they are back in the harbor after many hours of sailing. They analyse the video footage, discuss new techniques, make notes in their logbook and set goals for the next day. Yes, 225 days year. Next to that they spent many hours in the gym, cycle, ski and even shoot: focussing while being tired.
It’s fun to prepare the workshops and presentations together. It’s a bit of a challenge too because they hardly know why they are so successful. To find out together is wonderful and supports them in their journey to Rio.
Some of the highlights of the last presentations:
- Innovation is always possible, keep stretching yourself. Even a windsurfer can sail it’s board differently than the other sailors so that it can plane faster. We won’t tell you before the Olympics how to do that but are happy to share afterwards.
- Form a team of experts around the sailor(-s). As a coach be not afraid to contract people who are better than yourself. You will learn from it!
- Know what motivates you and your coach to spend so much time on the water. What are your motivations? What makes you tick? Design the program around these. Every team has its own DNA, every sailor needs his/her own program.
- Survival of the fittest. You can’t influence the weather and need to deal with it. So you need to be physically prepared for storm and mentally prepared for cheating opponents. Next to that you need to plan for relaxation to prevent burn out.
- You learn most from your worst results. As long as you stay open and look at these objectively with your support team. No judgment, just dive into the facts and improve.
- The devil is in the detail. The tiniest part of your rigging can make your mast collapse. Don’t let it happen. Don’t compromise.
- The winning mind. Small victories help you to see yourself as a winner. They even influence the set up of your brain!
- Know yourself and be audacious! When your coach isn’t the right coach for you anymore dare to discuss this.
- Build your resilience muscle (although there is a discussion going on between psychologists if this is scientifically possible). You always loose more races than that you win. So how do you deal with disappointment? How can you get back on track faster? Don’t run from your emotions but learn from them while witnessing them.
And there is much more to say. Book us and we’ll help you with the challenges you’re facing. We have raised already half of the money we need, so don’t hesitate to contact us: email@example.com.
The picture above is Nicholas Heiner (I sailed against his father in the Star: Roy Heiner). He was World Champion in 2014 but missed the selection for Rio. Rutger van Schaardenburg won the last of 50 races they sailed against each other and was selected. But Nicholas is now Rutger’s trainingspartner and even raises money for the Olympics he won’t attend. That’s the example of team spirit…