It is true, Coaching rowing is not easy at all. There are many reasons why coaching rowing and being a ROWING coach it is not an easy thing at all. I’m going to list few reasons why ROWING COACHES are my HEROES!
1) There are many different techniques you can use to go fast in rowing and many different styles that work. That is very confusing for the rowers and the coaches.
2) There are many different training programs that can make a boat go fast and they can be so different ones fro the others and it is very confusing for rowers and coaches.
3) Every rower has a different body and different strengths and weaknesses. The rigging, technique and training program will be tailored to that. This is hard when we coach a Team boat.
4) The sport is done outside and the weather conditions can make it really difficult to coach and practice.
5) We don’t know how the weather is going to be on race day. The whole game can change if we have head wind or tail wind. It is not something we can control as coaches.
6) The equipment is really fragile, expensive and difficult to move around.
7) Rigging a boat well is really difficult and takes a lot of time.
8) It is a very a very difficult sport to do well and coaches and rowers need to be patient to get the results of the long work. You cannot develop your technique and proper coordination on a short time. Years are required.
9) There are very few coaches that are payed what they should be payed for all the time and effort they put into their coaching. Many programs have too many rowers and not enough coaches.
10) Accidents in rowing can be bad. People can die. The fact that you give your back to where you are going and that you are doing it on the water makes it a High risk sport for accidents.
11) Selection process of how to make the fastest crews and select rowers is very subjective. There is no way to know for sure which is the fastest combination for sure or who deserves the most to be on the boat. This gives too many tensions coach-rower.
12) The coach needs to do it all because is a vey low funded sport. He is overworked and burns out very easy from too many hours and not much recognition. Equipment, rigging, coaching, motivating, fundraising, driving to races, etc…
13) Coaches education is hard because there is really not a perfect path to learn to be a good coach. You are pretty much on your own and need to use your imagination to learn from the best.
14) All the coaches work really hard and only ones wins the race. It is a very hard job to have because it is very hard to win even when you work all day long. It is a very competitive sport.
15) Coaches have too many choices on their coaching and this makes their job so fascinating but at the same time complex. Training programs, boats, rigging, lineups, practice progression, etc…
16) The rowers row for few years and move on but coaches go on the water to coach year after year. The weather is hard on them. They are there on the rain, cold, heat, sun, wind, etc… for 30-40 and even some more than 50 years.
17) Coaching rowing requires a good eye and feel for the sport. The ones who coach rowing and have never rowed need to figure it out how it feels and what the rowers are feeling. Not easy but many have done it and are successful.
18) It is hard to have a family as a coach and balance things with them. Rowers row on the weekends, travel to races, have long hours day, coach very early on the morning…
19) Rowing coaches need to be big motivators and be able to explain rowing to all the rowers. Not an easy thing to do.
20) Many Rowing coaches have a huge impact on the personal development of the athletes they coach. It is a huge responsability for the rowing coaches.