Annie Vernon author of Mind Games Book

 In RowingChat

Annie Vernon rowed for Great Britain at two Olympic games and had a rapid ascent through the womens sculling crews to the top boat.  Now retired, she has written a book about the mental skills of elite athletes – Mind Games.  We discuss nature, nurture and training the mind and the techniques which have propelled some seemingly unlikely candidates to the pinnacle of sport.


Timestamps to the interview:
0.00 Background in rowing and Adrian Cassidy as Annie’s first coach to take her towards high performance.
03:00 What is in your head as an athlete?  How did you become aware of mental training – Chris Shambrook.
06:00 Nature, nurture and training – confidence building.  Belief, honesty, trust, composure, momentum and the fraud mentality
16:00 What is an emotional driver?  When the going gets tough…
21:00 Does talent need trauma  Judy Murray – tennis star.  “Prepare the child for the path; not the path for the child.”
27:00 The talented athletes often don’t work hard. Why?
30:00 Decision making under pressure – you are committed to whatever the person doing the calls says
37:00 Competitiveness and perfectionism ; courage can be trained.
45:00 Train like Tarzan, compete like Jane.  Should we do this?
47:00 Selecting a crew – decisions that go against the evidence
50:00 Transitioning out of sport is an upheaval.  Elite sport and the law – employment and bullying.

Thank you to our sponsors. You can help keep RowingChat going by visiting our sponsors websites www.rowing.chat/sponsors

  • Mind Games by Annie Vernon, sports psychology book
  • Rose & Thorne the Active Bra with built-in confidence
  • JustStrong athletic gear, especially for women

Check out Kirsten Barnes – Rowing Psychology and Mental Toughness episode

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Meghan O'Leary