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As far as challenges of your fortitude and mental resolve are concerned the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is up there with the best. In December around 40 crews set out to row across 3000 miles of ocean.

One of those crews is Become Atlantic. Comprising Penny Mallory, Grace Pybus, Maddie Difazio-Wright and Grace Gilbert, each a rowing novice, now seek to bond as a team to achieve a frankly awesome goal. Each brings their own unique contribution to mastering this challenge.

Meet the team at

AQR International, the world’s leading authority on the mental toughness concept, is delighted to work with this bold group to help them prepare mentally as individuals and as a team to complete this gargantuan task.

The mental toughness support is led by Professor Peter Clough, the developer of the original 4Cs framework. This puts the mental toughness concept at the centre of the support activities. Penny Mallory is herself something of an authority and keynote speaker on mental toughness.

The program will embrace a number of team sessions and individual sessions between now and December. We will post regular updates so that everyone can follow the team’s progress and perhaps vicariously experience the excitement and tensions in planning for and delivering the challenge.

The first session took place on February 1

This involved gaining an insight into the four-person crew’s mental toughness profiles.  Each had completed the MTQPlus psychometric which they will repeat to assess progress over time.

These will be discussed at individual discussions and personal action plans will be developed, refined, and delivered. The purpose of these plans is to help the team members deal with the adversity and the demands of this arduous race.

In addition, as reflective of the four components of the 4Cs model, it is equally important to plan for the enhancement of the positive impact of each of these inspiring adventures.  The challenge is both the draw and the driver of self-development and fulfilment.

The first group meeting revealed both how demanding the task is and how rewarding it can be. The four rowers are very different, and this is excellent news.  It promises that whilst it is more demanding to develop cohesion in a group of impressive and distinct individuals, it also means that this cohesion can lead to fantastic outcomes.

Team working inevitably needs to fully reflect diversity and complexity.

Self-awareness, the foundation of optimising mental toughness, allows us to harness the power of self and optimise the benefits of exposing ourselves to challenging situations.

It’s not about simply doing challenging things – it’s about planning the self-development pathways these can provide.

For the team at AQR International, this is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a team prepared to embrace an extreme challenge. We might not be on the boat but we will be with them in spirit all the way.

For more information about mental toughness and what benefits it can bring, even if your challenges are not as extreme as crossing the Atlantic contact us at

Finally, the Become Atlantic crew are giving their time to raise funds for their four favourite charities. Information can also be found on their website.

The team will also welcome sponsorship of all shapes and sizes. This effort will use and need resources. Again, see their website.

On completion, they will have quite some story to tell which will be motivational and compelling. If interested in booking one or more as speakers contact:  or