Academic hubby gives Olympic paddler an edge

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Academic hubby gives Olympic paddler an edge

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Published on 22 June 2012

Olympic kayaker Rachel Lovell has paddled down Eudlo Creek guided by her coach – University of the Sunshine Coast psychology academic Dr Geoff Lovell – in what was one of her last moments on Australian waters before vying for gold in London.

Rachel is part of the Australian K4 team that will compete in the 500m event in London in August. She will leave for Europe next week.

Dr Lovell is Rachel’s husband and a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at USC. He has a background in sport psychology and has been overseeing Rachel’s physical and mental preparation in the lead-up to the Olympics.

He said psychology has a large role to play in training for an event like kayaking.

“A lot of people think that psychology is only for competition,” he said.

“But kayaking is a very training-based sport with only a small amount of competition.

“So the biggest challenge is being able to maintain the motivation to train every day – sometimes three times a day – particularly when you are tired and competition seems a long way away.”

— Michelle Widdicombe

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