PRYME PEOPLE – Kobe Miller, Rowing Athlete

KOBE MILLER NEW ZEALAND ROWER - Pryme Australia - Sqwincher Hydration

New Zealand High-Performance Rowing Athlete Kobe Miller is the embodiment of unwavering dedication and a fervent commitment to well-being and hydration. From his humble beginnings at Marlborough Boys College in New Zealand to his resounding success on the international stage, Kobe’s journey as a competitive rower is both inspiring and illuminating. Beyond his exceptional rowing prowess, Kobe’s role as an advocate for comprehensive health and effective hydration adds depth to his story. In this interview, we delve into his evolution as an athlete, his affinity for Sqwincher, his strategies for maintaining peak performance, and his aspirations for promoting health awareness within the global athletic community.


Can you tell us about your journey as a professional rower? How did you get started in the sport, and what inspired you to pursue it at a competitive level?

I started rowing back in 2015 at Marlborough Boys College in New Zealand. Following in my brothers’ footsteps who had a pretty outstanding high-school career. He really inspired me to join the sport as I looked up to him as an older sibling. Seeing how hard he worked and the rewards he got from it. This really motivated me, and I always told myself that if I worked just as hard – I would do better than him! So, I finished high school being recognised in the Rowing New Zealand pathway, joining the Regional Performance squad and being selected into age-group representative teams throughout the years (U19s, U21s, U23s and Elites).

As a health and hydration advocate, why do you believe it’s crucial for athletes and individuals to prioritize proper hydration and overall well-being?

I think hydration is one of the keys to sporting success. I became really interested in hydration when I studied Sports Science at university and picked up some nutrition papers – which dived into hydration. I was always looking at areas to improve my performance, and hydration was an area I think is where I learnt and benefited from the most. It is crucial for my body to be performing at 110% when I compete in rowing competitions such as at the World Rowing Championships I’ve just competed at, especially in the European countries these races are located where the temperatures get as high as 38 degrees Celsius. Sqwincher Hydration Qwik Stiks were the most convenient and reliable source of electrolytes that helped me perform at my best day in and day out.

How has Sqwincher influenced your approach to health and hydration? What sets their products apart from others in the market?

I have been using Sqwincher since I started rowing in high school. My rowing performance really progressed rapidly during this time and got me to a point now where I have represented New Zealand on multiple occasions on the world stage. The fact that there are a variety of flavours and different ways to consume electrolytes makes it very convenient and innovative, which really stands out from the rest of the market.

Favourite flavour of Sqwincher?

Definitely the Mixed Berry Qwik Stiks!

Training for rowing can be physically demanding. How do you maintain a balance between intense workouts and ensuring you don’t compromise your health?

I am very lucky that I have had very experienced people in high performance around me that build world-class training programmes so we can perform to our highest capabilities. For the last year, I was in the NZ Elite Rowing Squad, and I picked up an internship job at a gym making programmes for clients and classes. This was casual as my training hours were the main priority at both ends of the day, but helped keep my mind busy outside of rowing. My top tip from the nutritionist has been to not go anywhere without your drink bottle and make sure it is always filled! Having Sqwincher on hand is even better because it helps with rehydrating effectively during and even post workouts when needed.


New Zealand has a rich rowing tradition. How has growing up in New Zealand influenced your passion for rowing, and how do you feel representing your country on the international stage?

It has been crazy, as when I was growing up as a school kid, I idolised the Rowing NZ athlete. Now, I am one of them and rowing alongside some of those Olympians! It is very surreal and an absolute privilege to wear the Silver Fern, it brings me great pride as when I was a kid, I couldn’t have imagined myself in my own shoes now. So, it is just a dream come true for me.

What are some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced in your rowing career, and how did you overcome them?

This past year of 2023 has definitely been the most challenging. Stepping up into a smaller Elite Squad where the training was longer and more intensive – it was a challenge physically but also mentally. Then going to the 2023 U23 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria was a bittersweet competition as our crew came away 13th overall with the capabilities of being top 5. It was a really hard time mentally to comprehend and come to terms with the result after dedicating so much time to rowing the past year, but if you are not winning – you are learning! It is all about how you bounce back from times like this and come back better.

Can you share some of your favourite pre-race rituals or routines that help you mentally prepare for competitions?

My pre-race ritual at the U23 World Championships just been, was to travel by bus to the course about 3hrs before the start time. I am in my own little bubble with chill music in my headphones and just using imagery of what I want to be feeling like during the race. Then I go through the process of getting mobile and warmed up for the race – with my headphones playing some more hype music now! I like to think I am the best and most prepared for the race out of all the competitors, so I stick to my warm-up routines and timings that we’ve tested and trust to make sure I am primed and ready by the buzzer at the start.

In a sport that requires both physical strength and mental endurance, how do you stay focused during challenging moments in a race?

There is a moment during the race usually halfway through which can make or break athletes, the start of a race at an international event is always hot. Therefore, how you break through the lactic acid threshold and deal with the position you are in against everyone can really make or break a crew. I like to be confident and no matter where I am positioned, that I can push through and deal with the pain better than my competitors because they are often hurting just as much as you are!

As someone who advocates for health and hydration, what advice would you give to aspiring rowers and athletes who are looking to take their performance to the next level?

I would say consistency and fun. If you are going out there constantly wanting to improve and get better – all while having a good time and enjoying the process (usually with a whole lot of mates) then you are destined for success. Putting in the work consistently definitely pays off which is what I found. With rowing it is harder, as you have to learn to love it, and once you get it – it truly is rewarding. The feeling I had when I won my first National Title was something I wish I could relive over and over again. It all started from being consistent over the years working hard, but having a good fun group around me who all had the same goal.

Rowing often involves team dynamics and communication. How do you build strong connections with your fellow rowers, and how do you handle conflicts that may arise within the team?

It can be very difficult sometimes as rowing brings many different personalities to the table. A lot of athletes prepare for races in different ways, but you all have the same goal of winning which is the best part. However, being able to recognise one person gets really nervous and needs quiet, and another person likes music blasting and slaps on the back – you need to have that connection with each person to know that when it comes to racing, they know you have their back, and you have theirs. Once this trust has been formed, it creates a really good team dynamic and makes dealing with conflict way easier.

Lastly, how do you plan to use your platform and influence as a professional athlete to promote the importance of health and hydration to a broader audience?

I plan on spreading the word of Sqwincher worldwide, taking it with me everywhere I go. I am very lucky as an athlete and I am becoming a role model to some, where I can promote a hydration and health brand I trust and advocate for. Rowing is a community that is so tight-knit, and word gets around quickly, so if an athlete is performing well and is using a great nutrition or hydration plan – everyone wants a taste of it! Especially when it tastes so good and is evidence-based. Also, I’m Gluten-free and I love how the packaging clearly labels this!

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