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Mahe Drysdale, centre, with P3 Dairy Trust chairman Craig Zydenbos, far left, and trustees Oliver Vincent, second left, Ilyse Jaennens, Jo Burton, Tessa Fisher. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Mahe Drysdale presents to farmers

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mahe Drysdale gave a motivational talk at a P3 Dairy Trust Speaker Series event on November 24 to help local farmers deal with pressure.
The event, held at Ngātea War Memorial Hall, was about getting farmers off their farms for an evening with Mr Drysdale, who shared the mental and physical challenges he faced to become one of New Zealand’s most successful rowers.
Mahe told the audience of around 50 people his rowing career was an “awesome experience” but there were many ups and downs he hoped farmers could relate to.
“I’m sure you guys have seen it as farmers, you have the droughts, you have the floods, and you’ve now got the government on your back as well,” he said.
“I think there’s certainly times you could make the change and do things to influence the decisions that are made and absolutely fight for those.
“Making sure you’ve got enough feed if you’re expecting a drought or doing the remedial work to your farm, and if it’s the government, try to find ways around their rules because it’s certainly not easy.”
One piece of advice Mr Drysdale gave the audience was to focus on what they could control and put together an execution plan.
“I would write down my goal before I went on the water, and then I’d come in and put a rating on it and make note of what things I need to change for next time to work towards that overall goal,” he said.
“We had a psychologist I worked with and he calls it the MOS and MOP, and MOP is moments of perfection and MOS are moments of s***, so you kind of sweep the moments of s*** out of the way and focus on those moments of perfection.
“Like if you’ve got 500 cows to milk and you screwed it up 499 times, just focus on that one good one and how you can do that in the afternoon milking on every single cow.”
Mr Drysdale also discussed the importance of well-being during his time as an athlete.
“Quite often what you’re doing is breaking your body, that’s what training is, and you need that time for it to regenerate,” he said.
“As a dairy farmer it’s very similar, you do the same thing, generally day in and day out, and it can become quite autonomous so it is important you find those outlets and ways you can get through those tough times.
“Make sure you rest, make sure you’re eating the right food to allow you to perform everytime and make sure you bring in the people that you need to make sure you make those good decisions and hopefully end up with that success.”

P3 Dairy Trust’s Maria Baigent with Mahe and his Olympic medals. Photo: GORDON PREECE