• Coach Knickerbocker

Irrational Confidence


Ever stop to think about all the different things that need to occur for your crew to actually win a race? There are so many variables that are out of one’s control when it comes to “winning”.


Since winning is not in one’s control as I’ve mentioned before one must find other reasons for training, going to practices, taking time away from friends or family in order to compete, etc.


But even when one does all of that, finds other reasons, feels successful, experiences getting better at this thing, there is usually a part of that person that questions whether they can succeed at competition and win.

My strong suggestion is that you consider this…


Why NOT you?

Why NOT your crew?


It’s called Irrational Confidence.


Irrational Confidence is an amazing tool to have in your tool box because it offers you confidence in the face of what seems impossible or unlikely. It works because you can more easily believe in this confidence. Believing in the possibilities is what opens the door to accomplishing what you may think is impossible.


I think irrational confidence is even more powerful than regular confidence because it suggests not just what is true, but what is possible. And in the case of a masters woman rower…ANYTHING is possible.


How does Irrational Confidence work?

When you ask this question of yourself, “Why not me?” or “Why wouldn’t our crew win?” You open up possibility.


Because really when you get right down to it, are other rowers actually doing more than you in order to accomplish the same objective? Are other teams doing more than your team in order to accomplish the same objective?

If so, than you know what you need to do.

But if not, why would they be more likely to win than you?


Granted, if your team practices 5-6 days per week regularly in set lineup boats with dedicated coxswains, rowers participate in regular lifting sessions, coach measures strength to weight ratios and power to weight ratios, regularly erg tests and posts those for all to see, the club has excellent equipment, the club races almost every weekend during the season and includes travel to regattas in order to meet competition that they don’t normally see, then sure, your crew may be doing a lot more than other masters crews out there. So maybe your crew doesn’t need irrational confidence.

I will grant you that.


But the majority of masters crews are practicing 3-4 days per week, in mixed boats or varying lineups, with maybe some new equipment and some old equipment, they are not necessarily lifting regularly, or competing every weekend or traveling for regattas. These rowers are balancing life with family and career. These rowers don’t always even have the same coaching staff from one season to the next.


In other words if all of this is essentially the same between crews what exactly is it that will set you apart from those crews and create a headset of possibility?

Your irrational confidence.


Your ability to say to yourself, “Why not me?” or “Why not our boat?”

Everything else being equal there really is no reason why it WOULDN’T be you or your crew that is winning or being tough competitors.


So put the work in, commit to the process, establish a strong mental training practice, accept the bad days on the water with as much enthusiasm as the good days, take the notes from your coaches, support your teammates, and have irrational confidence.

Because why not?


Is it going to hurt to have irrational confidence? Absolutely not.

Is it actually going to uplift you and help you to feel better about the possibilities by having irrational confidence? Absolutely.


Can this “irrational” confidence become rational?

You better believe it!


Row hard, row well, compete, have fun!

Coach Knickerbocker

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