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From Music School to the Olympics: An Interview with Liz Hinley by Tyler Tolles

Jun 22, 2022, 08:00 AM by Rhythm Scene Staff

Liz Hinley“Much of her success in learning the various aspects of rowing she dedicates to her background in triathlon and her talents as a musician. Being a percussionist afforded her a great sense of rhythm and body awareness that transfers into the necessary skills to become a competitive rower.” —U.S. National Rowing High Performance Center

In this audio interview, recorded over Zoom on March 20, 2022, Liz discusses interdisciplinary transfer between sport and music, physical and mental health, performance anxiety, and her path from music school to joining the United States National Rowing Team and, one day, the Olympics.



A few highlights include:

[On performance anxiety] “What do [I] want to feel like before [I] perform? … I have come to use the term 'neutral' — not too hyped, not too sleepy, I'm just living in the moment; I'm chill.”

[On years of experience] “I don't [care] how many years of experience you have, I care about how many experiences you've had within a number of years. That's how I see maturity … My favorite thing is how many people I have shocked who say: 'Wow, you're on the National Team already, you must have been rowing for 15 years!' [I respond] No, I've been rowing for three … and within those three years look at what I've done.”

[On mental health] “Don't lock yourself in that room for hours on end. Take those breaks; it not only resets your mind, it resets your body. You are able to retain what you just practiced much better.”

Tyler TollesDr. Tyler N. Tolles is an active performer and educator based in Annapolis, Maryland. He performs as a percussionist with the United States Naval Academy Band and maintains an adjunct professorship at the University of North Alabama.

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