Adrian Moorhouse and Frank Dick at Dorney

PUBLISHED: 01:16 22 October 2011 | UPDATED: 21:39 20 February 2013

Adrian Moorhouse and Frank Dick at Dorney

Adrian Moorhouse and Frank Dick at Dorney

Guest speakers at IoD Berkshire's Going for Business Gold event held at Berkshire's own Olympic venue, Dorney Lake

Inspiration, Perspiration and Resilience: the journey to 2012

By Natasha Pierson

Why do some people push themselves and challenge themselves to achieve what, at times, may seem like the impossible? The answer according to Frank Dick OBE is that you are probably a Mountain Person: someone who has the right attitude to succeed because you recognise business is hard and difficult, but you do it anyway; someone who prepares for challenges by climbing the toughest mountains. This is certainly something that Frank should know about, as from 1979 to 1994 he was the British Athletics Federations Director of Coaching, and having personally coached the likes of Daley Thompson and Boris Becker, he has first-hand experience of Mountain People. Frank was one of the guest speakers at IoD Berkshires Going for Business Gold event held at Berkshires own Olympic venue, Dorney Lake.

It was a wonderful balmy evening when business people from across Berks, Bucks and Oxon gathered to start their own journey towards London 2012. As the sun set over the calm waters of the Lake, Adrian Moorhouse MBE, swimming gold medalist at Seoul in 1988, talked about his early experiences of being coached for the Olympics. He described how the aim was to create an environment for athletes where champions were inevitable, and he talked about using this approach in business today to drive success for the business and individuals within it. As the founder and managing director of Lane4, Adrian has worked out that he needs to be his own coach every day and this is one of the ways in which he can effectively lead his team.

One of Adrians key beliefs is the need for mental toughness: something he learnt in his sporting career, but which has been essential in the recent tough times that all businesses have faced. It will also be something of absolute necessity for our Olympic hopefuls. Picking up on the theme of mental toughness, Ed McKeever, one of the 1200 athletes across 47 sports and disciplines supported by Team 2012, outlined his rigorous training routine which includes two sessions per day on Dorney Lake as part of his bid for Flatwater Kayaking K1 200m Gold. However, Ed is also one of the lucky ones, actually training on the water where his event is taking place, and as such being inspired by the venue every day and building up familiarity with the course is sure to help him, provided he qualifies at the April trials.

Naomi Riches, one of our Paralympic hopefuls in the rowing mixed coxed fours, has just returned from Munich, where her team took Gold in the World Cup Series. As a visually impaired athlete, Naomi has an even greater focus on resilience and she believes that setting small goals is imperative: Knowing that I have done everything that I can possibly do to be successful is what counts. Naomi also echoed Adrians theme of having the correct support environment and articulated how funding is absolutely critical in this regard. Funding was the perfect segue into Andrew Owen from Team 2012 who outlined to the audience how small businesses can become engaged on the journey for London 2012 and in so doing not only support Team GB, but also provide inspiration for their own businesses to challenge themselves.

As the evening drew to a close, the audience took away some words of wisdom from the athletes and coaches and Frank Dicks mantra that Winning is being better today than you were yesterday! The darkness had descended on Dorney Lake, but in our minds we could see the rigs on the water, we could hear the cheering of the crowd and we could imagine the Gold medals being won by our athletes and ourselves.

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