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The teacher will arrive when the student is ready to learn

The Teacher will arrive when the Student is ready to Learn

“The Teacher will arrive when the Student is ready to Learn…” I read this quote after my competitive rowing career had finished. Maybe I would not have understood it had I seen it when I was rowing anyway. Looking back on my days as an elite athlete, I think of how differently I would have approached many situations. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With experience and knowledge we can make better choices in how we behave. Of the things I would change, none of them relate to how I applied myself in terms of the effort I put in. I can look at myself in the mirror and honestly say, “I gave it everything I had to give.” Preparing for an Olympics demands nothing less than this.

What I would change is how I interacted with my crew mates. I considered myself a team player and an effective leader. There were still occasions though, where I struggled to “play and lead” effectively. There were times I struggled to communicate, understand and combine effectively with my crew mates. Looking back I would say, I had a personality clash with some of them. I thought I was “right” which meant they could only be “wrong”. My perspective was different to theirs.

When I started studying DISC behavioral profiling, I began to see where I was making some vital errors. These errors were in terms of how I communicated with my team mates, attempted to motivate them and generally built trusting relationships with them or not. I really did think that “my way”, that is, my behavioral style, if not the best way, was certainly pretty close to it. At the time, I did not appreciate how different we all were. It is in this difference that we all needed to understand how to change our behaviors in order to create a better team result. It is not about being the best person in the team. It is about being the best person for the team. This is a massive change in thinking.

In the 2000 season, we were training up to 16 times per week and spending more than 45 hours dedicated in some way to our Olympic preparation. For most of that season, we felt great pressure to succeed at our home Olympics. It was a Gold Medal only, any other result would be devastating. When in stressful times such as this, understanding the unique styles and needs of your team members becomes critical. Not understanding your team adds to the stress in the environment. Achieving high performance can become impossible. I did not realize a lot of what I and my crew mates did in our behavioral styles, added to the stress enormously. For example, the reason I rowed was primarily to win. I was purely motivated by the result. I am a high “D”. This means, task orientated and fast paced. Two of the other crew in my team were both high “I/S”. Their motivation was based around “relationships”. Of course they wanted to win, it is just that the relationships were a primary motivator. Being an “S” meant they were also slower paced than me. This combination of different styles created conflict. Such as speed of decision making, time management, sensitivity to feedback and the list goes on.

There were actually times, when I thought the way my crew mates were behaving was specifically to frustrate me. This of course was never their intention. I know that now. But at the time in a stressful situation, when I missed that vital understanding of my team, well, you can see how things can be misinterpreted.

When I studied DISC, I realized there were some very obvious potential clashes within the different profiles. As a team, we just needed awareness and understanding in order to completely dissolve these issues. The teacher had finally turned up for me. I also realized what frustrated me in my crew members, were all the things that I personally lacked or unconsciously wanted to be more like myself. Such things as, more attention to detail to the precise boat set up. As well, a more free spirited approach to live each moment at a time instead of thinking about the future results and to enjoy the company of the great people around me. I missed a large part of the journey in 2000. When I rowed at the 2004 Olympics and won another Bronze medal, I truly appreciated what I was doing. I wanted to win and also enjoyed the process. I appreciated the people I was rowing with and enjoyed being in the crew. In short, I did not change who I was, I just changed what I did and it gave me better results. That is the power of this lesson. To be able to change what you do is only a behavioral challenge that every athlete must be able to understand.

Today, I have developed in all of these areas as I have spent a great deal of time and money investing in knowledge about myself and others. As we get older we aspire to be more well rounded individuals by becoming more self aware of our core values, strengths and limiting behaviors. This is a journey and like all other journeys it takes commitment and courage to look at one’s self and admit there are areas for improvement, then to actually do something about it. We are all a leader in some way. Few things are more inspiring than to see athletes improving themselves.

The Teacher will arrive when the Student is ready to Learn…

Boden Hanson is a four time Olympian and Triple Olympic Medalist. He is one of Australia’s most dynamic speakers on sport and business performance. He founded Athlete Assessments to assist coaches and athletes to improve their results through better understanding of themselves and others. He can be contacted through http://www.athleteassessments.com  or bo.hanson@athleteassessments.com

Kayak sail- planning for an expedition in the tumultuous waters

Kayak sail- Planning for an Expedition in the Tumultuous Waters

Are you planning an expedition in the tumultuous waters of Pacific? Or is it just a joy ride over the rough waters of your country? Plan your boating expedition with a kayak sail. It can turn your paddling experience absolutely vivacious and haunting. You need the accessories to get help you started. Make paddling as cool as the light breeze.

In the adventure racing world, make use of the wind, turn it favorable and sail away with your kayak. It is most suitable for long haul expeditions. Maybe a tour from South America to North Pole will get more enjoyable and thrilling after its use. These kayak sails are quite stable and durable, and their functionalities make them quite versatile. If you have never used a sea kayak sail then the procedures are discussed below.

First you need to raise the sail, open its wrappings and release it from the space in between the twin masts supporting it. There is something called the shock cords, they enable the pulling action.

They pull the sails in no time. In order to adjust the angle of sail there is something called a trimming line to help you. This angle is important so as to produce a resultant force with the wind and move forward. You can very easily get the sails lowered.

The trimming line makes the process of rapid adjustments when it comes to moving upwind or downwind, quite smooth. You can choose to mount the sail on the foredeck. Incase of absence of a deck you can simply suspend it between the boat sides. You may choose to have a rudder which is just an added advantage when it comes to defining the kayak’s versatile qualities.

A kayak sea kit will contain all the necessary items required by you during your sailing expeditions. If you choose to paddle as well as sail to your dream destinations, an outrigger sail rigs is something which you should be looking for. Sail rigs are available in quite a number of varieties.

Wind seeker sail rigs for feather light kayaks are quite good for any kind of sailing expedition. Just like a bird your kayak needs keels to steer its way through the waters. A mast deck bar is also required.

Most single kayaks do not have these equipments but if you order them then they will be provided to you and you may install them. The kayaks can be folded for your convenience; in case you decide to make a part of your journey over the land , then these kayaks can be easily carried when they are not in use.

So order your kayaks now and sail away merrily to your dream destinations without any further delay.