A good friend once told me:
“If you love coaching rowers of all ages and all levels and you love making them the fastest they can be for the work they put in, don’t do what everyone else is doing but something different that can really make an impact on their performance”
So this is what I try to do, I try to find ways where I can help the rowers develop the right movements, fitness and boat skills the fastest way I can for the time and work they invest in their training.
Here is a list of few rules I follow to help them:
1- I don’t follow a strict training plan but adapt it to what I see and feel. If the rower didn’t sleep, eat well or recover enough or is fully rested when there is an easy practice I will try to adjust the session.
2- I try to make all the indoor rowing, lifting and strength training as dynamic as I can.
3- I make them row as much as I can on flat water so they develop the right movements and boat control before they learn to deal with weather conditions.
4- Row as much as possible at low rates and with a heavy drag. With both of those, they are slowing down the movement so they can really develop the right movement and wire the best coordinated movement.
5- I avoid long warm ups and talks and cool downs. I Try to make the time used to workout as short as possible and efficient it can be. This way I keep the rowers less time training and more time recovering.
6- I try to have the rowers do the workout assigned as quick as possible minimizing stops for talking, drinking or resting. The reason again is to keep the workout as short as possible.
7- I approach recovery as the key part of the improvement. It is not in the workout they get faster but in what the rowers do after the workout.
8- I emphasize the sleeping hours as much as the training and the quality of the sleep. The same for the food the athletes eat and when.
9- I believe a lot in visualization of good rowing. I make them learn to row better by looking at good rowing videos and good pictures.
10- I don’t show them what they do wrong too much. I show them good rowing and only video them when they do something good, not to show them what they do wrong.
11- I try to give them a simple focus for every practice. I don’t like them running in automatic burning calories as factory workers instead of training engaging their brain on every action they do.