A sporting slump? Rely on Rowing.
Let's face it, right now we're not doing so well in the sporting arena. As a nation we have become so accustomed to sporting success and achieving above and beyond, this comes as a bit of a shock.
It was only last year, (2013) when the British and Irish Lions won against Australia. Christine Ohuruogu took an outstanding gold in the 400m at the World Championships and Mo Farah brought home yet another double in the 5000m and 10000m race. Who can forget the celebrations when Andy Murray magnificently took down Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, keeping the trophy on home soil finally after 77 years! Our man Chris Froome repeated a British win of the Tour de France following on from Bradley the year before.
Let's go back to that year, back to 2012. A year that will be etched in many minds forever more. Bradley Wiggins celebrated, side burns and all, sporting the yellow jersey in front of the golden stone of the Arc de Triomphe. The English cricketers preformed outstandingly to win the ashes and the Olympics, well, who was expecting that?! I'm not even going to go into detail here, nothing needs to be said. The Olympics were simply out of this world. Gold medals in 29 events, 65 medals in total, Great Britain was flying high, very high.
But what's happening now? Performance is dropping, the standards are slipping. We became blasè about the incredible results we were seeing but now it seems a dark cloud of depression has crept over the country. Leafing through the back pages we see disappointment, despair and frustration. The cricketers haven't managed to win a test series. Those great expectations of our England football team quashed almost before the World Cup whistle blew. Disappointment on centre court when our tennis superstar Andy Murray was knocked out of Wimbledon in the quarter finals and oh Le Tour. Cavendish taking a tumble on the first day and now we say goodbye to Froome. Could it be worse!? These two guys will recover, get back on their bikes and perform again. Everyone will, performance comes and goes in sport, it's all part of the challenge. We are always so quick to criticise when something goes wrong. These athletes spend all day every day practicing, surely they should be performing better, but if it was that easy then they would. None of these players or teams have gone out to make mistakes, they have just missed the target at some point.
One of the most difficult aspects in sport is consistency. How do you maintain those top performances race after race, year after year? Who knows...but this leads me onto my final point, consistency is key to everything. Consistent training leads to consistent performance. This is something we have in the GB rowing team and it's something we're showing time and time again on the world stage. Of course individuals have peaks and troughs, crews rise and fall from one regatta to another but as a team, we perform.
I believe much of this is down to the coaches who write the programmes. Time aged and tested training regimes that relentlessly put the athletes through their paces 7 days a week, 350 days a year. It's also down to the athletes who strive every day to perform in the cauldron of competitiveness that is a fight for a seat. What we do is in no way motivated by money. There's no chance to let up, go on holiday and relax. Weekends are non existent it's all about the boat.
At a time when sport in Great Britain has temporarily lost momentum, cast an eye over the waters of the rowing World Cups. Each and every one of us has a story, each and every one of us has hurt badly to be there. Our team will succeed and we will be a sport that achieves. I say that with confidence because I have confidence in what we do and what we have done. We are doing it right now here in Lucerne and in a months time we will take this consistency to the World Championships in Amsterdam. Medals will be won, we do it every year. Give your trust to us rowers, in rowing you can rely.
(These comments are solely my thoughts and do not necessarily represent those of my crew or team mates)