I’d like you to start by reviewing your training programme from last season.

Take a comfortable seat and read over last year’s plan and the sessions you coached for your crews.

How many sessions were you doing a week? In what type of boats? How much land training versus water? What about cross training, weight lifting?

And now I’m going to challenge you.

Read my 5 Rules below and then go back to your plan for this season – what might you change in order to take advantage of the 5 Rules – can you incorporate more of them into your pattern of training?

5 Rules for Coaching Rowing and Sculling
These are the 5 rules I follow to teach new rowers correct rowing technique in a total of 40 sessions of no more than 100 minutes each. From this start they can row well.

Rule 1:

Develop part of the coordination on the land with a Dynamic erg with computer software feedback. I use the Rowperfect3. Never row on a stationary erg, it is very detrimental for the learning to row / scull process.

Rule 2:

Take the rowing on to the water as boat skill development and teach grip, blade work, balance and coordination. Don’t try to develop fitness on the water [for novices]. Row sculling boats: 1x, 2x and 4x.

Rule 3:

Have the novice rowers row sometimes with experienced rowers to feel the right rowing technique and rhythm and understand what they need to learn or figure out for themselves.

Rule 4:

Row on the land and on the water really slowly to be able to make perfect strokes and make technical changes. To be fully aware of what they are doing it needs to be done really slowly. 14 to 16 strokes a minute or less with some pauses during the recovery to check correct posture at the finish, bodies over and half slide.

Rule 5:

Row in boats that are light and rigged properly so they can feel the water and their body movements.

Any challenges there? Could you adapt your programme to take advantage of some of these rules and give your crew the best chance of achieving their potential?

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