I keep hearing that the only things needed to be fast in rowing are talent and hard work and I disagree. If that was the reality and the only key elements to go fast in rowing, the USA will win many more medals in Rowing at the Olympics. I don’t believe there is a country in the world that has more rowers than our country and more access to talent. I also believe rowers in this country work really hard, the hardest I’ve seen. Rowers are driven and motivated to give everything they have for a period of time to achieve their dreams. The olympic dream in the USA is a huge motivator and rowers are open to work really hard and put a side many things to get there getting nothing in exchange.
So why if we do have talent and rowers working really hard we don’t win more olympic medals?
This is the key question and I do have my own opinion as everyone has, but I know that for a country like ours to win 3 olympic medals out of 42 is not the best we can do. Yes we do have 14 Olympic events and each one of those has 3 medals. So the maximum medals we can get are 14 but we have 42 opportunities that are the 14 events with each event a gold a silver and a bronze.
So I’m not going to keep saying the same thing again that is, talent and hard work are enough to get there because we already have the talent and the rowers working hard and we are only getting 3 out of 14.
I believe that to optimize the development of our rowing we need to maximize our time on the water and on the land with the most efficient training program. This is not me saying it but something obvious. So we need to get the most for the time and work we put in.
So to maximize the potential of a rowers body, and develop properly an essential base of strength, coordination and power the rower needs to use the training on the land the smarter and better he can. Without all this training being done properly to make us fast on the water, the technique on the water will have errors and will keep them away from reaching top potential.
If you row on the land doing the wrong movements, then you develop technical mistakes and repeating them over and over they eventually wire on your body and become overtime very difficult to correct. Also rowing on the water with no coaching or proper feedback can have the same negative effect. We start doing the wrong movements over and over and eventually our body develops to those movements.
For me the good training on the land with good feedback is a huge part of this new approach to rowing. I believe starting rowers from day one doing the right movement is the way to go to have a correct development to reach our top potential. The USA is never going to have the funds from the government to support its rowers and coaches like many other countries have. For me this new training direction on the land is going to be done with a dynamic rowing machine that simulates and develop the body to make the boat go faster. This rowing machine develops your body strengths and coordination correctly from the start.
Bad repetitions of the rowing stroke, repeated thousands of times are about as productive as trying to learn to play tennis without learning the right sequence or technique. Eventually this will limit your potential.
To improve, we first need a knowledge on proper technique. This can be seen in good video technique or good power curve displayed on the computer screen. Obviously good coaching and mentoring is necessary. We also need feedback followed by thousands of top quality repetitions. This feedback repetition after repetition gets to you to wire the correct movement and develop the right body for rowing.
If you dream of rowing the fastest you can, achieving your top potential, there is no way you can get there without using all the training to make you faster on the water. For that you need to train smart and train on a way that you can be sure you are increasing speed on the water.
I believe the USA will eventually win more rowing medals at the olympics than any other country. It is a question of time, for that the USA needs to believe it’s possible and when we do, put a system in place to get there.