|London Rowing Club coach Phil Bourguignon|
After four very successful years as Director of Rowing at Sydney University Boat Club, Phil Bourguignon was looking for a new challenge. He found it in the Thames-side London Rowing Club, thus moving between two of the world’s oldest rowing clubs. SUBC had been founded way back in 1860 but LRC is even more venerable dating from 1856.
It is typical of Bourguignon that he took no time off between finishing up in Sydney in December last year and moving into the boat house at Putney. Back in Australia, juggling club and national team commitments, he had coached year round refusing to take vacations. In 2006 he was quoted as saying: “They say I’ve got four weeks off, but no … Athletes, their bodies don’t know what time off is. They’ve got to be trained every day. Athletes don’t know when holidays are.”
His work schedule was unrelenting, involving 15-hour days during the week, waking at 4:30 am and getting home at 8 pm. And he had no reprieve at weekends. His only free time was on Sunday afternoons when he often accompanied his mates out for a quiet beer but he was so exhausted that he often fell asleep after the second beer.
“Fortunately, I love waking up every morning,” Bourguignon said. “I love it because I’ve got such a great diversity of athletes, that I’m seeing something new every day. I see a change in somebody that wasn’t there yesterday and I say, ‘Yes! Thank God, that’s it, stay with that.’
“And you really look forward to waking up to see that.”
A feature of the Bourguignon approach was to strive to stay upbeat and full of energy in front of his athletes so they would act likewise.
|Phil Bourguignon monitoring MyoTruk technique at Sydney University|