Carlos Dinares: ROWING feeling the FEET pressure against the FOOTPLATE

When I was rowing my single I decided to focus my attention on the pressure of my feet against the footplate. It was good and i learned many things from that exercise.

The full attention of my brain went to the action of my feet against the footplate:

1) I felt the pressure from arrival to stern of my body mass to change of direction and what was the action of my feet on the footplate.

Here what i felt is that as I was moving to the stern, catch position my body mass was compressing against the footplate as If i was doing a plyometric exercice landing on the footplate and as soon as i had changed direction of my body mass. My blade was loaded and i was pushing with all my leg power against the footplate. The coordination of arrival, catch of blade, loading and feet pressure was key to don’t crash the stern down and slow down the boat. The higher the rate and the more tired i was the harder was to do it right.

2) I felt the pressure during the drive and how my feet where building through the drive pressure against footplate.

During the drive I tried to row different power curves or power applications and see how the feet were interacting to the footplate and how fast an for how long my whole feet was in full contact with the footplate.

3) I felt the pressure of each feet against the footplate. I focused my attention on feeling if the pressure of each feet was at the same time or not and having the same pressure or not in each one of my feet.
It was interesting to see that not all the time I had the same pressure in each feet and that I needed to be very concentrated on the balance of the boat and timing to get the same pressure and timing in each one of my feet.

4) I focused my attention on the connection there is from the pressure of my feet versus the pressure of my hands and pressure in front of the blade. I made changes on my stroke and observed and felt the consequences and results.

Here I played with the speed of the legs being more connected and less to the blade work. The pressure on footplate felt different.

5) I focused my attention on the action of the feet at the release against the footplate. Checked if I was losing pressure, when and how much.
Here I was working on the connection of the feet against footplate on the release- change of direction. I played with the swing of my body and the connection to see how long I could row without losing too much the footplate and also how all that was affecting the run of the boat and speed. I played with rates and i observed that as increasing the rate and speed of the boat quick had a lot to do with a good change of body direction at the release and to the connection and timing of feet against footplate.

6) I felt the action of the feet against the footplate when I was on the recovery rotating my hips forward and moving my body mass to the stern as the boat was coming to me.

7) I felt the pressure of the different parts of the feet pressing at different parts of the stroke against the footplate.

What I learned is that it is key to think while you row on what you want to focus your attention on and eliminate all the other feels. It is important to focus your brain on the feels you decide. Our body feels all the time thousand of feels and is geting thousands of feedbacks but we cannot be aware of all of them at the same time and we need to decide which ones we want to focus on.

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