I was rowing my 1x on the morning and having a good row. While rowing I always think about what I’m doing and what is going on while I’m rowing that is helping me to connect with the boat to go fast and be the most efficient I can be. What I think while I row, I believe can help any rower at any level and age to get better and understand better our sport.
My passion and posts are always focus on rowers of any age and any level. The reason is that all these rowers have one thing that make them alike: They are all passionate about rowing and all want to learn how to row better and faster to have more fun doing it!
My 2 NEW secrets to Row Fast are:
I call juice to the ability to keep going and going. This is your endurance, VO2max, Anaerobic capacity, …. It is the talent and also training that makes you go when others cannot. A good way to check your juice is with a maximum rowing ergometer test. Juice is the combination of many things. I call it the ability to have energy, to be in good shape, to be happy, to be excited about life, to have dreams. All those things help you to be fit and to be on target to get the stronger you can be. To develop juice you need to organize your life around this goal. You need to sleep well, eat healthy, exercise regularly and have motivation, energy and time to be able to make it happen. Juice means energy and energy is life.
Skill is the ability to fully control your body and the boat in any given situation. You an call it technique, efficient rowing, …. It is the ability to go faster than anybody having the same juice as your competitors. I call it to row smart. I call it to be focus on doing right and use your brain to take ownership of your actions and be the best you can be with what you have.
When I coach rowing I explain to the rowers I coach what we are going to develop during the practice: Juice and Skill or either one. They are plenty of times that I mix them but I always talk about them as individuals.
If you don’t make a clear difference of what each one of them means you will get confused, confuse also the rowers you coach and lose the big picture of developing a rower the best you can.
Here is an example:
If you have a rower that is returning from retirement, injury or lack of training because of family or work, you will need to evaluate his fitness (Juice) and see how much he can do to don’t overtrain or burn out. Said that he might be a very skilled rower and have very good boat skill and body control. That said we know that this rower is way ahead on Skill than on Juice at the time of his comeback and we will need to put more effort on his fitness and energy to get him up to speed.
Another situation can be a rower that has a lot of Juice (Great ergometer score) but doesn’t control his body, has bad rowing coordination and not much skill with the boat and his blade work. In this situation I will focus more on improving his boat skills and body coordination instead of keeping working more on his fitness and juice. I won’t let him lose fitness or juice but I will for sure focus all his attention and motivation on developing his boat skills.
It is amazing to see how many times many rowers and coaches ignore these 2 simples secrets, confuse them on their training and develop the wrong way to don’t get faster.