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Oxford must be scratching their heads over the results of this weekend. In the boat race, there is only one winner. Cambridge triumphed in leading the charge and celebrated a double victory over Oxford. Oxford need to rethink team performance in the aftermath of this defeat.

So, what defines team performance? Is it a relentless focus on making the boat go faster? This is the suggestion from Ben Hunt-Davis, an Olympic gold medallist. Or is it about developing teams that are well-performing, who balance well-being with performance? Does team performance start with the development of the relationships? In Oxford’s case, the late substitutions in the team suggest that they were still grappling with getting the right people onto the right seats in the boat. This can have a huge impact on team performance, particularly in a rowing team, where team changes can upset the balance of the boat. It’s surprising that these changes came so late, as it didn’t allow the team the opportunity to find their rhythm before the race. Is this what cost Oxford the race? How often does this happen within corporate teams?

Team performance is a complex blend of getting the right people in the right positions and then building the synergy within the team. It’s also about having a clear sense of focus and knowing what basics need to be done really well to move the boat. Good coaches will focus on the discipline of deliberate practice, so that teams know what basics to focus on. Then they will maintain this focus so that they build confidence within the team.

If you would like to amplify your team performance, connect with us to discover how you can use rowing as an experiential learning opportunity for your team.