Race-day motivation

9 May 2021

David Lindstrom

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Occasionally, the stick

Harry still liked to do the runs and the sprinting after rows, which I didn’t. And occasionally he hit me with a stick, but… on the shores of Sylvensteinseee in Bavaria.

But that didn’t worry us and but because we had been around a while and it was getting near the end of our rowing international career, we knew what we had to do.

So we basically led the charge, to the extent, when we stayed in Amsterdam [1977 World Championships], I had the guys very regimented, and like we would be the first there for breakfast in this hotel, and we’d be the first on the course, and we’d be first back down the course.

And then and one day Harry said we don’t need to go down early today. And I said, ‘Yes, we do’. So all we had at breakfast was the four rowers and Harry’s coxing bag, coaching bag, and we still went down on the first bus, and we were back down and in before anyone else was there.

And it was just a psychological thing to, particularly against the East Germans. And I remember after the semi-finals, the East German coach came up to me, put his hand on my leg and said, ‘Did you sleep well, Kiwi?’, and I said ‘Like a log’. He was trying to psych me out, the prick.

What do I have to do to motivate you for the final?

Before the final, Harry said to me, what do I have to do to motivate you, to focus you, on the race for the final. And I just said, just tell me there’s someone in the stand that doesn’t think I should be stroking this boat. I was referring to a certain person that used to favour another member of our crew.

And that’s what he said in the team call. And that just switched me on; I was in the right mode to race and and that’s what we went on and did.

So he had the ability to do that and he had enough intelligence. I think he was a super intelligent man. But he was also a gentle person and, you know, he could talk about life in general and other things like that, and share things like that. Because I’m, as people know me, I’m a fairly straight shooter and honest sort of person, so I’ll say what I think. And and that didn’t worry, Harry – he could relate to that.

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David Lindstrom rigging a boat

David Lindstrom

David Lindstrom stroked the New Zealand 4- that won a silver medal at the 1977 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. The crew was coached by Harry Mahon.

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