Lloyd's Register sponsored Olympic canoeist David Florence talks about how he’s using goals to put himself in the best possible position to become an Olympic champion.
Having goals is something that gets discussed a lot in relation to elite sport. For me, qualifying a place at the Rio Olympic Games has been a major goal of the last three years and I'm so, so delighted to have now achieved that. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to race another Olympics; to be a part of Team GB once again. My goal for Rio this summer? I'd love, of course, to win two Olympic Gold medals, but to call it a goal doesn't quite sit right with me for some reason. I might call it a dream or an ambition. It's something that excites and motivates me, but it's not really something I focus too much on a day to day basis.
The goals I spend more time on are those little daily goals. The short term goals that can ultimately contribute to a great Olympic performance. The opportunity to compete for an Olympic medal is a rare thing. Knowing that how well rewarded you'll be for all the hard work and commitment you've put in, for the last four years (or much longer) hinges upon one run on one day in a sport with tiny margins for error, can be daunting. But if I can sit on the start line in Rio and know that I've done everything in my control to be the best athlete and the best prepared I can be, then I can be satisfied that I will be giving myself the best possible chance I can of becoming Olympic Champion.
It's about so much more than doing my best on the day. It's about doing my best every day, every training session, every paddle stroke. And that's where having the smaller goals helps. Having trained full-time day in, day out for canoe slalom for so many years now, it would be easy to go through the motions. But it's crucial to make the most of every training session, and having goals and being clear on my objectives is really helpful in that. Knowing what purpose the training session serves and what makes it successful.
I could do everything right and someone else could paddle better. It is possible. And I think it's really good to be able to accept that. What is important is that I make the most of every day, every session, every opportunity to better myself. And with the results I've had over this Olympic cycle; the world Championship wins, I know I am capable of a great performance, and I'm doing everything I can to maximise my chances of that.