I have used on my training to rowers 5 secrets that have helped them to get faster.
Here they are:
1) I have used the Rowperfect3 and the computer software to configure effectively the accurate neurological pathways for optimal rowing efficiency. By making sure the rower is comfortable and excited about the prospect of doing something new with the Rowperfect3 it is possible to override the “away” response and initiate a “toward” response. If the rower seems to behave reluctantly or seems fearful, be sensitive to this and allow him some time to become familiar with the new machine and with you before you try to introduce new movement patterns. With every new movement pattern, allow the rower to perform the movement slowly and without load to provide the brain an opportunity to learn each new movement pattern. Once the rower becomes familiar with the new movement and the brain convinces itself that the activity is fun and safe, the rower will begin to relax, which will enable the brain to effectively configure the accurate neurological pathways required for optimal movement efficiency.
2) I used the power of visualization to teach good rowing.Research has shown that strength increases almost the same by visualizing an exercise as opposed to physically completing the exercise (Shackell and Standing, 2007). Therefore, if a rower is initially resistant to movement training, invite the rower to talk about what they are prepared to do versus what they aren’t. By thinking about exercises they can do, they are already creating stronger neurological pathways without even performing the movement. By strengthening the neurological pathways, the rower is teaching him or herself how to move before they even try to move, which may prove beneficial when actually trying to perform new movements.
3)I used Mirror neurons to improve the learning process of rowing trough imitation and learning. In relation to movement, this means that simply observing another person move can activate areas in the brain specific to learning. As a rowing coach, you can trigger this response by displaying images of movement training that are inspirational to the rower or by simply leading by example with your own movement. In addition you can row a 2x with the new rower where coach and rower can feel the proper movements through the water.
4) I started with simple movements that are simple and familiar to the rower. Start there, then develop progressions stemming from those familiar, basic movements to gradually introduce more complexity. The level of familiarity of each basic movement will allow the rower’s brain to feel comfortable and will increase the likelihood of a “toward” response rather than an “away” response when initiating a new level of complexity. For example I will teach the rowing stroke on the rowperfect3 o on a 2x, helping to balance the boat. As the rower gets comfortable I will add complexity by rowing with him or taking him on a 1x.
5) I used motivation and patience to help the rower embrace change that is not easy and takes time.The “away / fight ” response, of course, is very different from the “toward /reward” pathways in the brain. During the “away” response, the amygdala, inside the limbic system, activates the hypothalamus, which in turn activates the pituitary gland, which then stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline, which is commonly referred to as stress. During the “toward” response, the brain uses the dopaminergic pathways to release dopamine in the prefrontal cortex, which creates the sensation of pleasure and reinforces the “It felt right. I want to do it again”.
Research is showing that with every new experience, the brain will first initiate an “away” response as a protective mechanism before it becomes convinced there is no threat, after which it will be able to initiate the reward pathways in the brain and activate a “toward” response.