6 ways to boost your Athletic Performance

September 1, 2016

As an athlete in a sport where races can be won by a matter of inches, the focus on marginal gains can make all the difference.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats solid training, but these five tips will boost your performance to help you gain that extra inch over your opposition.

1. Stop hitting the snooze button. 

Falling back to sleep after your alarm wakes you up will only make you more tired and groggy.  If you need more sleep, go to bed earlier the night before rather than sacrificing your fresh start.  Hitting snooze not only promotes laziness first thing in the morning but can also lead to excessive consumption of stimulants like coffee to pull you out of this groggy state.

2. Focus on improving one element at a time. 

It is too easy to start picking apart your technique and then try to go about changing it all at once.  From personal experience this normally leads onto more issues than solutions.  Take time to work on one element and only shift your focus onto another once you are happy that progress has been made.

3. Lessen the use of phones, tablets and laptops in bed. 

Switch off your devices at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.  They emit short-wavelength blue light which boosts attention, reaction times and mood, and impairs melatonin production, the sleep-inducing hormone, leading to a disruptive night of low-quality sleep.

4. Pre-competition fuelling. 

It’s all too easy to overeat before a big event, whether the night or hour before your performance.  Your body needs time to digest whatever it’s receiving before it can be used as fuel, so make sure your last big meal is at least three hours ahead of competition time.  Any later than that and it will just sit in your stomach causing discomfort and, more often than not, make an unwelcome reappearance once you cross the finish line.

5. Don’t shy away from criticism. 

Athletes are typically very good at focussing on their own bad points more than their good points, yet sometimes struggle to listen to criticism.  Start taking all criticism as constructive - if you’re serious about improving it’s always beneficial to get a fresh pair of eyes on your technique.  

6. Hydrate. 

Hydration is key to firing on all cylinders.  The body is made up of 60% water so it makes sense to keep topping up on H20.  Studies have shown that athlete performance is impaired when dehydrated by as little as 2% and capacity to perform at a high intensity can be reduced by as much as 45%.


Season Catch Up

September 26, 2015



My last post was about the third World Cup in Lucerne. For this I should apologise, writing blogs is a lot harder and time consuming than I thought it would be and once you add a full day’s training into the equation it can end up taking even longer, for me at least!

The major event that followed the third World Cup of 2014 was of course the World Championships and by now I hope you already know the outcome. Winning my first Senior World Championship Gold will be a memory th...

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World Cup III

July 31, 2014

Every year the season's third and last World Cup is held at Lucerne's “Lake of the Gods” in Switzerland. Being my second trip there, the memories of last year were very present. Racing aside and the lake itself is very pleasant. It’s surrounded by lush green trees, a small waterfall just before halfway, a small penned-off swimming area at the start line and, on the far side of the lake, a public train line that runs the length of the course. As the seasons change many of our ca...

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Henley Royal Regatta

July 14, 2014

Henley Regatta is a very special event, with an atmosphere that is unmatched in my experience.  There is something about the smell of the boat tents and the freezing cold showers; riverbanks filled with hundreds of spectators  reuniting with old friends and enjoying the sunshine; loudspeakers everywhere informing you how races are progressing; and start procedures given to you by an umpire in a beautifully crafted wooden motor boat as you attach to the starting blo...

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World Cup II

July 8, 2014


The second World Cup of the year took place in a lovely part of France called Aiguebelette.  The course was on a natural lake full of beautiful clear blue water and sheltered on one side by a mountain, covered in lush green trees and quaint little holiday buildings.  Our first trip to the course was one to remember.  We were greeted by glorious sunshine and blue skies, however, this all changed when the majority of Great Britain crews tried to boat for a paddle.  The heave...

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European Championships 2014

July 3, 2014

This is the first time the Great Britain team have sent a full blooded senior squad to the European Championships. This may be due to the event being held after the World Championships previously, when athletes would rather be taking advantage of their rest and recovery period (much-needed after a tough year of training, seven days a week, come rain or shine!) I have competed at the Championships twice before, first in the 2011 in the coxless fours, finis...

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Start of 2014 Season

June 23, 2014


After the World Championships we as a team are given around 3 weeks holiday to do as we please. Late September, early October we start over again! This year I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out, after the horrible period of training in singles is finally over Jurgen selects individuals to compete with one an other in pairs. This is a really good opportunity to mix the older more experienced oarsman with the newer athletes and hopefully rub some of their ...

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World Championships 2013

June 19, 2014


The 2013 World Rowing Championships were held in Chungju, South Korea. The venue was in my opinion one of the best that I have been to. The weather was great, the locals were friendly and the course was fair. When first arriving in Korea the first thing you notice is the heat and humidity, the second is the beauty of the landscapes dotted with large apartment blocks marked with bold numbers and the third is how clean everything is! I was astonished not to s...

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Getting up to date!

June 16, 2014

As you may or may not have noticed it has been a while since this page was updated. With that in mind I thought I would take over with the news updates in order to give you a more personal view of how my journey is panning out. Since the last post is from the Lucerne World Cup I thought I should carry on from that point in my journey. 

As mentioned above the last post is about the Lucerne World Cup which is the last of the World Cup series and the last real opportunity to test yoursel...

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14/07/2013 - World Cup III

September 9, 2013
Today saw Matthew and his crew race their first B final of the season. After a fantastic performance just one week ago at Henley Royal Regatta, Matthew and co arrived at the beautiful lake Lucerne in Switzerland feeling confident yet fatigued. As the green light was shown in their heat, Matthew's four looked in fine form up to the 1000m marker where it became apparent that the the crew were struggling to hold their speed. Matthew's crew crossed the line in 4th pushing them into the reps later...
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