Will it make the boat go faster?
Book review, Ben Hunt-Davis, 'Will it make the boat go faster?'
How did the British men’s eight go from finishing eighth at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games to winning the Olympic Champion title four years later in Sydney 2000?
This is the journey of the search for speed and perfection that Ben Hunt-Davis of Great Britain shares. The book is more than a collection of memories about an Olympic Champion crew. Hunt-Davis transports you through his crew’s final year of preparation for Sydney, highlighting the major obstacles that had to be overcome and the crucial strategies adopted on the way to gold.
Co-authored with performance coach Harriet Beveridge, each chapter comprises two parts: in the first, Hunt-Davis narrates a key episode that influenced his gold-medal winning quest and in the second Beveridge outlines how the lessons learnt by Hunt-Davis and his teammates in that particular instance can be applied in every-day life, whether in the private or professional sphere.
The titles of the chapters give a good idea of the principles covered in the book: goals, motivation, beliefs, make it happen, teams, process driven, momentum, change, risks, etc.
A self-help book, it is not of the vague sort that is difficult to apply in reality. The techniques are presented in a colloquial style with examples demonstrating how gold-medal-winning attitudes can in fact be adopted to attain success in any aspect of life - whether at the personal level, in relationships or for professional enterprises.
Quirky terms and concepts such as 'bullshit filters,' 'bouncebackability,' 'how to eat an elephant' and 'get the crocodiles before they get you' help make the techniques shared even more understandable, memorable and applicable.
Hunt-Davis has a consulting website named after his book www.willitmaketheboatgofaster.com. Global companies have looked to him and his team for advice on improving performance, based on the strategies shared in his book.
“An Olympic gold medal is a crazy thing to want, and a crazy thing to work towards. The odds – even if you are a world class athlete – are stacked against you. For the Olympics in 2000, we discovered that the only way to reach our crazy goal was with concrete, everyday habits,” says Hunt-Davis on his website.
The book “How to make the boat go faster” is definitely worth a read for anyone looking to setting and attaining goals and wondering how to reach them in practical and efficient ways.