1) Not missing practice.
2) Showing up Early to practice.
3) Always excited to do the training and extra if necessary.
4) Happy, excited and positive attitude even when things get hard.
5) Determination to be the best he or she can be.
6) Attention to all the directions and execution of them.
7) Very good focus on all the work, every single stroke.
a) Confidence and perseverance. Never giving up, good comeback from hard moments.
9) Desire for extra training.
10) Clear goals and hard work to get to them.
Everyone talks about all those talents that rowers should have like height, power, erg score, technique, physiology and many more that are all very important. For me over the years the one talent that I really admire on every athlete I get the chance to coach is the one related to its approach to training. The one that is wired to his brain an actions, the one that can be listed or explained on the 10 qualities above.
When you coach a Team you have different rowers. They all have different qualities and many of them cannot be changed. I cannot change my height or the length of my arms or legs. Also there are some genetical parts on our body that cannot change much and some have an advantage over others. But what everyone can change or improve is his approach to each one of the 10 qualities listed above.
The best athletes for me are the ones that have all those qualities. Obviously if you want to be the best in the world at something, you will need some talents and genetics that added to the 10 quality list will take you to the top.
Dara Torres, swimmer that has won 12 Olympic medals and is going to try to swim on her 6th Olympics at age 44 is described as:
“I just think that she’s on a mission, it seems like,” said Weir, the American record holder in the 100-meter freestyle. “So that’s probably what keeps her going.”
“The thing that she’s got and it takes to succeed and, unfortunately for her, a lot of people at that top end have it, is you step up on the blocks and you are 100 percent certain that you’re going to win,” Diebel said. “It’s not even an ‘I think I can,’ it’s not an ‘I’d like to,’ it’s ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to.’ It’s almost like you’re surprised when you don’t. And she’s got that.
“Dara knows what she has to do and you’re not going to find many people more driven,” said Jack Bauerle, the 2008 U.S. Olympic women’s coach. “We have a lot of good people in there right now, but she’s a great competitor and if she’s going to go after it, she’s not going to leave a stone unturned.”
“People ask me what my favorite Olympics was, and most people would answer the Olympics that they did the best in,” said Torres, who won two gold and three bronze medals in Sydney in 2000. “That’s not what it means to me. It was what it took to get there, what I learned along the way, the rewards, the feeling I felt when people tell me that I inspired them. That’s what I remember about those Olympics.”
Not that she just missed getting a gold medal?
“You know, I try to forget that,” she said with a laugh and added, “I’ll always think about that for the rest of my life. Every time I ask myself the question: Could I have done anything to help get .01, .02 of a second, the answer is no, I did everything I possible could, and that has to be satisfying enough. Even though I always will hate that I got second, I will always know that I did everything I possibly could.”