Commitment

Here’s how to go from desiring an outcome to making that outcome a product of your actions. More simply; how to make an outcome as inevitable as possible. Some things are more obvious than others. For example, we’ve all heard that taking action is the only way to move forward and learn. Absolutely true. But action for action’s sake can also become busywork. So, the next step is taking the right action. But right away we are faced with a big problem: we all have different ideas of what the right action is. This where you have to make some important decisions and then stick to them.

As rowers in the Canadian Men’s Eight, our plan came from our coach, Mike Spracklen. Mike was a polarizing figure in the organization and I felt a lot of rage towards him (yes, RAGE) at various times during the two years leading up to the Olympics. I also knew that Mike was the only person around who had coached athletes to Olympic medals many times over and that his way was my ticket onto the podium. So I did what he told us and I bought in to his training program because I realized I didn’t have time to change strategies every couple of months. It was our team commitment, despite individual moments of doubt, that put us in a position to win a medal after coming undone in an awful first heat. Our ability to bounce back and capture the silver started with Mike’s vision and experience and ended with nine guys knowing how to respond to adversity.