The Psychology of Training

Today marks the end of the first month of full time training for me in the national team program. It has been grueling. I am trying to adapt to the mindset of training hard no matter how tired I am mentally or physically. Today, on the fourth 2.5 km training piece down Elk Lake (see photo), my body feels sluggish from fatigue -almost as if I have hypothermia. I look up at the coach boat following behind us with crazy eyes and one of the coaches says “That’s good Jerry we want you to be exhausted -now don’t slouch.” So goes most days. I’m not used to pushing this hard this regularly, but I’m told I will adapt. The first 3 months are supposedly the first hump you have to get over before you find any increase in speed. But, it never really gets easier. I think your body just becomes conditioned to train harder and the head coach, Mike Spracklen, designs our training program so that every ounce of available energy is drained. This creates a continuous mental burden on the athlete. This mental strength, I think, is what separates the very good from the best.  Much of the past month has been downright depressing and stressful.  Going into camp fresh and then slowly being broken down each week is a very difficult thing to do.  It requires a great degree of trust and confidence in your coach.  Luckily, we have one of the most legendary coaches in rowing with us -Mike Spracklen.  He does not seek to motivate the athletes as he believes that should come from within.  Ok Mike, I’ll keep throwing logs in the fire.

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3 Responses to The Psychology of Training

  1. david brown says:

    Hey, Jeremiah,
    We all look forward to reading your blog to catch up with your progress…have you been able to do any fishing from your boat…looks like it would be a good opportunity to troll for a whale…
    Seriously, we are impressed by your mental fortitude and hope that you get to a place where it is not so all draining and depressing. I’ve always wondered how the elite athlete keeps motivated to perform at such a high level.
    So keep it going and we’ll keep in touch.
    Jordan and Jac both say hello.
    Uncle David

  2. ALLAN BROWNE says:

    Hello from New Zealand.
    We, Murdell and I are here till March and touring around.
    Watching your progress and wishing you well. A demanding
    sport as you can now FEEL!! according to the pics.

    I rowed Elk Lake back in the 80s for fun and enjoyed the experience.
    Now I power a Concept 2 rower and have passed ten million meteres.

    Here in Auckland I hope to meet another 80 year old who has rowed
    past 50 millon meters and it takes 40 M to go around the world. Will be there when
    about 100!!!!!! Hope I make it.

    Tell your folks I was in touch and wish them well for me.

    Silken Lauman was the pre-eminent rower when I was at Elk Lake and she consulted with us on a shell made by Whitehallrow.com located in Victoria. Look up Harold Aune (owner) and tell him our relationship. A good contact for you. Also MarieHutchinson, partner.

    Take care of your body amigo and above all keep your pecker up!!!!

    Love to Ethan and Amy.

    Uncle Allan

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