Today I’m going to repeat what I say over and over to my rowers
“What is the advantage of a long catch?”
For me one of the biggest advantages is that by rowing long at the catch it is easier to have a well timed catch.
Define a well-timed catch
A well timed catch is a catch where the crew misses the smallest amount of water at the entry of the blade and locks onto (grips) the water with their blade as early as possible after the entry into the water.
In order to make this timing easier the rowers will want to be rigged in a way that the blade gets closer to being parallel to the boat. If this is achieved with the help of the rigging, the angle of attack will be steep and it will be easier to put the blade into the water without having to accelerate it towards the stern.
I believe that by using this principle rowers can develop better timing at the catch into the water. I use a heavy K factor on the Rowperfect3 software to facilitate learning the timing at the catch by slowing things down and facilitating an easier development of the ideal power curve by rowing at low rates.
Take a look at these 2 videos:
On the first one you can see single scullers rowing at low rates. The low rate, load and long catch makes the timing easier in this video.
Video 1 – French single scullers
Video 2 – Dutch 8 in training
In the second video you can see a good crew that became Olympic champions in 1996. This crew has a very good timing at the catch. They used training in singles and sculling boats to improve the timing at the catch [slow boats] and later on transferred to fast boats to be able to do it well in the 8+.
So next time you’re in the gym with your crews – set the K factor to display and see what your crews learn from it. The higher K factor the higher the resistance.