I have just returned from an incredible weekend at the Knysna Rowing Regatta. Not only was I able to support my son Luke, but I was there to witness the U16 boys cross the finish line and win gold as a united crew. I sat with a lump in my throat and prickling with goosebumps. They did it!
How did this happen? A combination of factors for sure, from the fabulous rowing coaches and hard training to ‘seeing the invisible’ that I offered them.

In March this year I donated ‘Synergising for Success’ (2 x 4 hrs. coaching sessions to a group of up to 10 boys) to the Bishops Rowing Auction. “What is this? How can it be of benefit? What value does it add?” I heard parents mumble. As my prize was auctioned and no hands were raised, I felt myself sinking lower into my chair while assessing if anyone would notice if I suddenly disappeared under the long table cloth. How can I possibly explain what I do – alchemy, insight, clarity, strategy, action? How can I possibly expect these parents to buy something they have not tried and tested, even though all profits would be going to the Rowing Club?

Fortunately, dearest Mary Maurel had some insight into my work and she came to the rescue, rallied around and voila, much to the boy’s initial horror (really – they arrived at session one calling it ‘the failed parenting course’), the U16’s were now stuck with me for 8 hrs!

What an incredible two sessions we had.Once I had their buy in, the magic just happened.

They soon understood that there were ‘three boats’ in their one and what needed to change – and QUICKLY! We unpacked their unique strengths and challenges, while focusing on three things;

  • What it takes to belong to a team,
  • Where their boat was heading,
  • What it would take from each individual in this crew to get it there!

Whatever they did, on and off the water, they were asked to reflect on the question, ‘Will this make the boat go faster?’ and to keep in mind the idea that ‘your dreams are in the hands of your fellow crew, and their dreams are in yours!’

At the Knysna Rowing Regatta it all came together as this once disconnected bunch of boys fully stepped into their power and owned their self-created vision ‘To be the best crew’ and mission ‘Together body, mind and spirit!’.
Yes, they did win gold, but more than that they stepped into the light of self-belief and unity.