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Nate Goodman: In the Present & Focused. The Fan’s Choice Collegiate Athlete of the Year

by Sarah Marshall, smarshall@usrowing.org | Nov 05, 2015
It is safe to say that Nate Goodman probably has lots of big dreams in store for his rowing career. As stroke seat of Steve Gladstone’s varsity eight in arguably one of the best crews the Bulldogs have seen in decades, Goodman surely has the loftiest of ambitions. When tasked with the question however, his response is quite simple: his picture in a den.

When the stroke seat of Steve Gladstone’s varsity eight, Nate Goodman, is tasked with the question "what is your goal?" his answer is simple: his picture on a wall.

“That is the ultimate goal when you race for Coach Steve (Gladstone) is to get your photoIMG_8464 (1) in his den," said Goodman, a junior. "He has photos of his best crews hanging in his house that he told me about freshman year and since then that has been my goal.”

Considering the year Goodman has already logged and the outlook of the season ahead of him, those pictures must be pretty important. Goodman stroked Yale to their most successful season since 1982 winning the Eastern Sprints, the Sexton Cup, edging out the IRA champions, the University of Washington, at the 2015 Henley Royal Regatta and then most recently winning the champion eight race at the 51st Head of the Charles Regatta last month.

“It has been pretty cool. It definitely feels like we have started something and now it almost feels like we are watching it become this great thing and seeing how it has played out. I think a big part of why we are doing so well is that we aren’t worried about what we have done before. We are solely focusing on the next race.”
 
The season wasn’t smooth the whole time for the Bulldogs and Goodman, however. At the 2015 IRAs on Mercer Lake, Gladstone’s crew hit a major snag after failing to make the grand final after a poor race in the semifinal.

“After our semifinal, we sat down, we looked at each other and just said ‘that didn’t go the way we planned and we are disappointed in the results but we know our worth as a crew, so tomorrow we are going to race our race and go from there. This will not change anything and we aren’t a different crew. 

IMG_0846 (1)I think the loss made us more fearless. I think the biggest problem we had at IRAs was that we had something to loose and that is just not a good way to race. Going into Harvard versus Yale and the Henley we were just so relaxed. We weren’t thinking about the gravity of what we were trying to do. It was just another day, just another piece and we raced with no fear.”

This fearlessness was something that had to be learned, along with many other life and rowing skills that Coach Gladstone instills upon his athletes.

“I never knew how mental a sport rowing was before I started at Yale. That is Coach Steve’s greatest strength is as a motivator.”

USRowing’s Fan’s Choice Awards embodies excellence in rowing by showcasing top performances over the current year. Goodman and his fellow six winners were nominated by and voted for based on their contributions to the sport and achievements on the water. All will be honored at the fifth-annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 19 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

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