Management,  Sport

Row to Grow: Planning, Action, and Adaptation

How can rowing and sport in general teach us valuable lessons about success in business and in life? Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with my SDA Bocconi schoolmates at Canottieri San Cristoforo, Naviglio grande, Milan. We were a group of 20 students.

Our day started with an hour of “theory” about rowing and how difficult of a sport it is. We learned that rowing requires stamina, strength, and good mental preparation. Mario Palmisano then shared with us his insights on how to be successful in sport, business, and in general.

He emphasized the importance of planning, having clear objectives (both subjective and objective), and preparing a program to follow, assessing our skills, time, and options. He stressed the need for action and desperation at all costs, and that every single detail is important, even what may seem least relevant. He also talked about the importance of dominance and states of mind, as well as adaptability to people, things, and situations. Finally, he emphasized the importance of evaluating our progress and remodeling our approach if needed.

Mario also recommended a book titled “Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?” by Ben Hunt-Davis, who won Olympic Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 as part of the Men’s Rowing Eight. The book is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about the sport of rowing and how it can teach valuable lessons about success. If an action won’t move you towards your objective, then skip it and focus on more relevant things.

After our theory session, we went rowing with a “Dragon boat.” We were screaming, laughing, rowing, and learning techniques of a team approach for fast rowing, on the Naviglio grande. As an ex-canoeist, I thoroughly enjoyed this activity and appreciated the opportunity to learn from an Olympian and apply his insights to my own life.

In conclusion, the lessons learned from rowing can be applied to many areas of life, including business and personal development. By planning, taking action, and adapting to changing circumstances, we can achieve our objectives and reach our full potential.