Carlos’s Tip #214: Why is a 14 years old USA rower using the stationary Concept2?

Why do you think we have a system in the USA that forces our young rowers to score in the stationary ergometer that develops the wrong patterns of coordination and injures them?

I had the chance to coach an amazing 14 years old girl the other day. She has been rowing for a year and is really talented. She has the biggest skill you can see in an early Champion: Passionate about rowing, Passionate about training hard and Passionate about winning.

As usual I divided the Training session on 2 sections, the first one the Rowperfect3 and the second one on the water with her on the 2x.

The Rowperfect3 part was really interesting. I had her seat on the dynamic erg connected to a computer. She had trouble to row on it properly and the data showed a lack of feel for connection and proper use of the fulcrum on her lower back and control of her body.

She was doing a huge body swing and pulling the handle to her neck. To that and very surprised because it looked very unnatural and something you won’t be able to repeat on the water I asked her why she was rowing like that?

Her answer: Our coach makes us row like that to get a Better score.

Do you do the same on the water?

Her answer: No. Our coach only tells us to do it on the Concept2 to get a better score.

I cannot believe we have 14 years old rowing on stationary Concept2 and testing instead of playing on the water with rowing and having fun.

After thinking of the WHY and looking for a reason to use that early the stationary ergo and use it with a technique just to get a better score I understood:

Her coach works for a club and gets paid if his rowers GET RECRUITED! His job is to get them into college and get them a SCHOLARSHIP. Her coach has realized that if he starts on the Concept2 at age 14 and adapts to the technique that tricks the machine and gets a better score, he will have more chances to get them into College with a Scholarship and will be able to keep his job.

This coach is doing what he needs to do to keep his job. The problem is not him but the SYSTEM we have for recruiting the USA athletes!

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