The start of the new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and envision where you’d like to go in the future. 2020 is an Olympic year – what changes can you make to take you in that direction? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you become your best self in 2020.
A Year In Review:
How did the spring go? The summer? The fall? Whether you're a rowing novice or seasoned vet like Boathouse Ambassador Emily Schmeig, it’s important to reflect for your self-improvement. The 3 main things you should be asking yourself are 1) what technicalities did you focus on? 2) how did you perform physically? and 3) how did you feel mentally?
From learning the basics to more advanced skills, what are some things you improved on? Did you master feathering with your inside hand only? How about balancing at the catch with blades at the square? What can you say that you mastered in this past year?
Equally important is looking to areas you can improve on. Even 14 years in, there are still areas I need to improve on. Rowing is a sport of inches and each technical improvement can help. The sport is always growing and changing in ways that you can improve. You must keep up to date on the new things being established. Remember there is always a better way to do something, you just have to take the time to learn it.
Some questions you should ask yourself have to do with the way you physically performed last year. Did you PR on your 2k, 6k, 30min year, any test? What about in the weight room? On the water? Big or small, gains are gains and they are important.
What areas do you need to improve on endurance, power, strength? Set a challenge for yourself and then structure a path to obtain it. For me, I’m always trying to improve my deadlift. A big goal I accomplished this year was hitting 200lbs. The next step is I’d like to reach 225lbs.
A big goal I accomplished this year was hitting 200lbs. The next step is I’d like to reach 225lbs.
This can often be the hardest part, but it can also be the most important. Rowing is a mentally challenging sport along with being physically demanding. So ask yourself, did you push through a challenging workout? Or hang tough in a close race? How did you respond after a loss or tough spot?
Developing skills and strategies to stay mentally focused and release stress are important to balanced training. I use an app called Ten Percent Happier to work on meditation and stress coping, and little everyday things to stay centered. These things are personal and can be as simple as carving out time to read or talk to a professional. Just remember your mental health is just as important, or maybe even more important, than your physical health.
2020 is an Olympic year, but whether you’re aiming high for Olympic trials, or Masters Worlds, IRAs, Stotesbury, or whatever race floats your boat take the time to sit and write out your successes, your failures, and your goals for the year to come. And once you write it down, find a coach or a friend to talk it over with and help you stay accountable.
Wishing everyone the very best in the season to come!
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