Peak Rowing Performance: Like Saving For Retirement

Peak Rowing Performance: Like Saving For Retirement

peak rowing performance

Beginning the Coaching Journey Toward Peak Rowing Performance

In the early part of my coaching career working toward peak rowing performance, I started working at a boarding school on the East Coast of the USA. We rowed on a lake in Connecticut that was an S shape and was about a 5k shot from end to end.

peak rowing performance financial planning

Rowing Technique Mastery

I served as the boy’s novice coach and was privileged to coach the lower boats. One of my rowing coaching strengths is my understanding of the fundamentals of technique. I’ve always thought that you want to give careful consideration when you choose a novice coach. If your athletes get sound fundamentals in their first year, they are set on the right path for years toward peak rowing performance. If the fundamentals are not established early, the old saying goes, practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes permanent.

Lessons in Investment

One of the young lads I coached in those first few years had a father who worked as a financial advisor. I developed a good relationship with his father because he was a regular supporter and engaged parent.

About a year or so into our relationship, he invited me to an evening held at a local bank. The purpose of the evening was a presentation about the various investment banking opportunities that he offered. I was young, and I had learned from my father about good financial planning, so I decided to attend the evening. I had nothing to lose.

As I entered the room, I saw chairs arranged with a large desk at the front. I was given a folder filled with papers that had lots of numbers and figures on them. About ten other people joined that evening.

As the presentation began, the gentleman started to talk about the investment industry. He discussed the benefits of regular contributions to savings accounts and starting an investment portfolio.

As the presentation continued, the gentleman discussed market fluctuations in response to world events. For example, he discussed how the markets devalued due to various global events. However, a few months later, the markets recovered and did better than before. His point was that while over shorter periods of time, the market will fluctuate, generally over the longer time span, if you stay the course, your investments will grow and thrive.

peak rowing performance

Drawing Parallels

At this point in the presentation, he reached his arm out to me and addressed the rest of the people in the room, saying that I was his son’s rowing coach. He thanked me for the investment that I had made in his son and pointed out that because of rowing, his son understood this important life principle at a relatively young age.

The peak rowing performance process and discipline are very similar to investing principles, whether for retirement or stocks.

His son understood that although the races are some time away, he had an appreciation for the process. The discipline required to train successfully is just like saving for retirement. You save a little on a periodic basis and over time you know that will add up to a bigger return over the fullness of time.


A Lasting Impact and Advanced Rowing Strategy

Life has a habit of being an up-and-down process. However, being consistent with your practice allows you to navigate and steer your way through the inevitable challenges and curve balls that come your way.

The ratio of the amount of time you spend training for a rowing race relative to the amount of actual time you spend racing is huge.

Until that evening, I hadn’t framed the training process like the investment banker.

It’s been nearly thirty years since I attended that gentleman’s investment presentation. The perspective that he brought remains true to this day.

The Broader Application

I appreciate that my rowing involvement has transferred to many other areas of my life. These include a successful marriage, a career as an educator, coach, and software developer. 

For example, it took me two years of disciplined work and finding time around my other commitments to fully develop and realize the curriculum mapping software I had just built for the school where I work. Software development is challenging. The same discipline prevents you from getting discouraged when errors and bugs occur in your code. Rowing has allowed me to have a vision or goals for my future and work toward that with patience, grace, and tenacity.

For these reasons, I am passionate about the life-changing process that results with engaging with rowing.

So the next time you think you should skip a training session or a homework assignment, or you put something off for a day or two, remember that you need to exercise that consistent discipline every day to achieve peak rowing performance. Small daily gains add up, even if life’s challenges are like waves against your being.

Keep going, and you won’t regret it.


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