If you have a bird that is free to fly and you want to put it in a cage, you could break its
neck and throw it into the cage. Or you could put a seed in the cage and use this as
motivation to get the bird to choose to go into the cage. This second way is easier and
makes for a much happier bird. The trick to movitation is what to put in the cage.
What is the best possible seed for that bird?
DaveMcGowan does not want to “get all
philosophical” but he has just described a perfect
metaphor for how he believes a coach should
work. He has also exposed through this metaphor,
perhaps unwittingly, insight into himself as an
individual and as an elite rower.
© 2007 Clemens Bilan/AFP/Getty Images
McGowan is the coach of the Dutch men’s eight and
in his very short coaching career he has become the
youngest coach ever to win a World Championship
title and follow that up by becoming an Olympic
coach after less than a year’s experience.
McGowan is 28. As a kid he wanted to be an
astronaut or a rock star. Drumming was his first
passion and he was on track to go to the music
conservatory. Then rowing came into his life.
Right from the beginning McGowan did not fit
into the picture of a model Australian athlete. In
retrospect he says, “I made it di;cult for myself. >
The Netherlands’ lightweight
men’s eight, coached by Dave
McGowan, react after winning the
2007 World Championship title.