Tony O’Connor’s coaching story takes some beating. In one bound he went from being a coach to schoolboy crews in New Zealand – albeit a highly lauded one –  to guiding the New Zealand men’s eight to gold in Tokyo 2020.

 O’Connor won gold at the World Championships for Ireland in 2001.

 His long chat with Martin Cross (see the link below) is a bit glitchy early on but is worth persisting with. It is a joy for anybody who is interested in coaching.

He talks about:

 – the need for honesty above all

 – how important it is to listen to your athletes

 – how learning is crucial for a coach

 – the drills he uses – they teach technique and boat feel … and they can be fun

 – his belief that the recovery phase is as important as the drive in a boat

 – what he might do in the future (no set plan …)