Below are a growing list of interesting about rowing. Click on each title to open that article in its own page.
20- Great video of what rowers think while going to a big race and during the racing!
Most of us do our jobs with our minds absent, partially or wholly, from what we are doing.
We do what is called “Going through the motions”.
This is why the length of time and mileage in rowing is only weakly related to performance.
That means that if the rowing movement is not matched with deep concentration, it doesn’t translate into excellence.
In rowing, many athletes, do endless hours without improving at all
Because they have been cruising on autopilot.
Many rowers confuse taking strokes with real practice.
In order to improve you have to deepen your concentration. The power of rowing when it is challenging rather than easy is very high. When most people practice, they focus on the things they can do easily. Expert practice is different. It demands continuous, specific and sustained efforts to do something you cannot do well, or even at all.
Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you cannot do that you turn into the expert you want to become.
To reach excellence you need:
- Quantity of practice.
- Quality of practice “Purposeful practice”
Every second of every minute of every hour, the goal is to extend one’s mind and body to push beyond your limits to leave the training session a changed person.
Purposeful training is key to improvement.
Purposeful practice transforms you.
Taking just strokes without thinking doesn’t take you very far.
19- Carlos Dinares and Ursula Grobler are not going to be working together anymore. USA rowing and Matt Imes have decided to take over.
USA rowing has decided to give Ursula Grobler the chance to stay in San Diego and develop to the Olympics. I’m really excited for the LW to have this chance and to see USA Rowing giving this category what they deserve. I believe they can win GOLD if somebody takes responsibility and gives them what they need.
I had the dream to be the one to take them there, to walk them through the adversity and the hard moments with my passion, energy and unconditional belief that anything is possible. My dream was to do it with the support and mentoring of USA rowing but this is not what Ursula and Matt Imes have decided.
I made mistakes and I take responsibility.
I wish all the best to Matt Imes and Ursula Grobler on the future to come.
18- Good video of steady state of USA 8+ World Champion 2005
17- Good training Principles
1) To praise effort, not talent.
2) To see challenges as learning opportunities rather than threats.
3) To take failure as an opportunity to become better, to improve.
4) To have good attitude.
5) To train with devotion.
6) To take physical training as a privilege and not a chore.
7) To eat food like it is fuel.
8) To have an appetite for practice and hard work.
” Every endeavour pursued with passion produces a successful outcome regardless of the result. For it is not about winning or losing-rather, the effort put forth in producing the outcome. The best way to predict the future is to ceate it-therefore, we believe we have the best taining methods to help each athlete achieve their dreams and goals and ultimately reach their ability level in the arena of sports and life” Bollittieri
” None of the kids leave here without their mind-set transformed. They may arrive thinking they can cruise their way to success, but they quicly learn that nobody has got anywhere in life without working hard, by showing tremendous discipline, and by taking responsibility for their actions. That is what ultimately separates the best from the rest” Bollittieri
The path to success is the one that follows a dream and learns from the big challenges and failures. Those make you stronger and teach you the hard way! Only GOLD wins and the one who does it is the one who has done it right!
London 2012 will show who is the BEST!
16- Strenght, core, posture, leverage, power …. well done
On all those images Carlos Dinares can see well executed movements. Rowing faster has plenty to do with improving your body strengths. As you develop strength in all your body parts, you will improve your rowing technique and your water speed. To go fast in rowing you need to understand that your body is the one that needs to move the boat and generate the leverage. You need to take responsibility and get strength and coordination in your body parts.
15- Visualization of rowing technique and racing
What a great thing to have access to rowing videos of racing and steady state training. Well as you know we are in a sport where at the elite level there is very little racing. Also Americans in relation to rowers from other nations normally start their rowing career later and have very little racing experience if none in small boats by the time they get to the elite level.
To have the chance to see top crews master the movement of rowing with good power per stroke and amazing rhythm makes a real impact on the understanding of the sport.
If you think about it, what a challenge to have a rower that has never rowed a Big race going for it without any experience. Well the reason I believe video can help you is because you can see what you are going to experience and is a start.
I use the video to show the rowers how you can win a race from the back of the field, from the pack and from the front. I show how the wind conditions can affect the evolution of the race and the technique to use to go down the course. I ask them to compare the rowing of the ones in the front with the ones in the back. I teach them flow, rhythm and the most important thing: EFFICIENCY OF THE ROWING STROKE.
Every time we get on the water after watching video, the row is better and has a purpose. If you ask me if I video them and show them how they row, my answer is not very often. Why? Because it is more important to have them believe they look like the champions. I want them to believe that they look great and strong as long as there is evolution and improvement is happening.
I guess the question is: Why do I need to show them bad rowing when there is amazing rowing to see?Why do they need to lose motivation when they are making progress?
Why do I need to establish an image in their brain of their rowing when they can have the perfect example wired on their brain cells?
You cannot win if you don’t believe in yourself, and you cannot believe if you don’t think you are the best you can be! I recommend to be careful of abusing video when they are not doing it right. Video can really dampen motivation and be dangerous.
14- 10 questions to which you don’t want to ANSWER YES!
1/ Do you think that the staionary erg rowing movement and the one you do on the water are DIFFERENT?
2/ Do you think that by rowing the stationary erg you have a higher risk of BACK INJURIES?
3/ Do you think that by rowing the stationary erg you are wiring the wrong coordination movements on your body?
4/ Do you think that by rowing the stationary erg you cannot achieve full length of stroke at HIGHER RATES?
5/ Do you think that after several sessions on the stationary erg you struggle a lot in the boat and it takes you several sessions to go back to normal rowing on the water?
6/ Do you think it is accurate to rank your rowers by a score on the stationary erg that doesn’t replicate the water movement and highlights the boat movers?
7/ You think that the next breakthrough in rowing won’t be on boats, oars or training physiology but on Dynamic Rowing Machines?
8/ Do you think that you are rowing the stationary erg because everyone else is doing it and there is not a clear solution to the problem?
9/ Do you think that you can be excited if a good alternative to the stationary erg becomes available and good teaching on how to use it provided?
10/ Do you think that Change is good when it brings Improvement, Speed and Health?
13- How can you coach rowing without talking about the movement?
I’m sure you don’t have an answer to that because there is no way to do it if the rower cannot see the real results of his power application are then he cannot to develop the right body movements and stroke cycle following an ideal power curve.
This is how it should be done:
a) You have an RP3 connected to computers that give you the real feedback of the power curve every stroke.
b) You tell the novice rower to draw the template curve that is on the screen and do whatever to get the shape, length and power involved to generate that curve.
c) You tell the rower to try different things to see how he can move the best way to draw the closer power curve as on the template.
With very few sessions and with very little feeddback the rower will be able to reproduce a good power curve and move on a coordinated way developing from the beginning the right pathways to its nerval system.
12- Positioning at the end of the stroke on sculling
A lot of people ask me how they should position at the end of the stroke and how it should look. Very simple there is not a better way to answer that that a good video-image. In this video of the Men’s French 2x that won the Olympics in 2004 in an outstanding race performance coming from behind, as you can see. I would like you to pause at the end of the stroke and look at:
- The body posture.
- Body parts positions
- Elbows, forearms, shoulders, neck etc….
11 – Rowing the stationary C2 erg and the dynamic RP3
10 -Comparing Stationary erg rowing with on water rowing by Dr. Valery Kleshnev
When comparing stationary ergo rowing to on-water, the biomechanics of the action differ some what?
Force, velocity and power during rowing on stationary ergo.
The on-water footstretcher’s peak force is ~30% higher than that of handle force, whilst on ergo they are nearly equal.
This is more info revealed. A rower performed a 6 min test on a Concept-II stationary ergo and in a single scull recorded the following differences:
1 …foot-stretcher force develop much earlier on an ergo. The increase starts after the mid phase of recovery. This is a consequence of higher inertia forces, which the rower has to overcome to change direction of body mass movement. During onwater rowing these forces develop almost simultaneously;
2 …handle force on the ergo has a higher peak and develops later. On water, it’s more a rectangular aspect and can be increased quicker;
3 …ergo handle velocity longer increase after catch, but remains almost constant through the middle of the drive. On water, there is shorter increase at the catch and more acceleration during the drive;
4… maximal legs velocity is higher on-water. In conjunction with higher foot-stretcher force this leads to higher proportion of the legs power, which is 37%:41%:22% (legs:trunk:arms) on stationary ergo, and 45%:37%:18% during on-water rowing.
5 …a good thing about the ergo is that they allow to achieve 3-5% longer stroke and better legs compression;
Force, velocity and power during on-water rowing. Comparison of handle force and velocity curves
In concluding, a comparison of various rowers’ profiles show that the power production differs between ergo and on-water. Rowers with fast legs produce more power on-water, while athletes with slower legs and stronger upper body have relatively higher ergo scores.
Dr. Valery Kleshnev
9- Carlos rowing the new C2 Dynamic erg
8- Future rational changes on rowing equipment
You all know that I think outside the box all the time to try to give an advantage to the rowers i coach.
I’m all the time thinking how to make them faster and I spend very long hours learning from books, internet and personal contact from the best systems used on professional sports where there is money and development.
I study how they do it, what they do, why they do it and their results. I use their ideas, data and training systems to try to improve our system.
Doing this exercise helps me to question plenty of things that are done in rowing without understanding of the positives and negatives to the speed of the boat.
There are for me the future changes that I see in boats in the coming years:
1) Increasing improvement of the footstretcher, Batlogic is already working on the right direction. It will get to the point that they will make personal footstretchers for each rower by doing measurements and testing of pressure of feat against sensors and body positioning.The angles and height will be determine to tailor your needs.
2) Change of the seats.They also will be adapted to the seatbones of each rower, size and weight of the rower. They will have a relationship with the footstretcher.Those seats will have a chance to change the height and angle and maybe rotate as the stroke moves from catch to release (pivotated).
3) The tracks might have more angle, to accelerate and decelerate parts of the stroke.
4) The rolling system of the seats might improve and the tracks too.
5) The boat will have a constant sensor of pressure on the footstretcher and pin. The rower will have a direct feedback every stroke of the connection and relationship to the speed of the boat. Also they will be power curves real time on the boat available. Also you will be able to see yours and your partners overlapped.
6) It will be a system of measurement of efficiency where there will be a relationship between the stress generated on the body by the speed achieved by the boat and we will be able to see real time this number to find out when we are the most efficient. Also at different rates we will see which technical changes are better to achieve our maximum speed.
7) It will be a sensor on the boat that will measure the whole practice the balance of the boat and the increase of drag because of bad balance. This factor will improve as we become better in the boat.
8) We will also get real time data of our timing at the ctach and how efficient we are changing direction and connecting to the water.
9) It will be a reader of direction and how much we lose by pulling more with one size of the body because of lack of strength on the other side.
10) It will be a reader of use of momentums and when from each rower to know where to get the positive accelerations on the stroke cycle.
11) We will also have sensors of weight on the seat and pressure on the footstretcher and they will get a relationship to see how efficient and accurate we are working with our body weight and the real speed of the boat.
7- Why visualization in rowing is important
In sport athletes use visualization to focus on how they want the outcome of a race or training session to go. Or to keep calm before the nerves of a big event kick in, or after competition when the adrenalin has been pumping throughout an event or competition to be able to rest in a relaxed feeling of calm and well-being.
By imagining a scenario, complete with images of a previous best performance or a future desired outcome. The athlete is able to get themselves in the correct state of mind by vividly imagining the process they want to perform and the outcome at the end of the event. This helps the athlete stay relaxed, focused and confident.
Research has found in sport that visualization can have a big impact in performance. Visualization and imagery can give the athlete the confidence to perform certain skills under high pressure situations, or in a variety of possible situations. The most effective visualization techniques result in a very vivid sport experience in which the athlete has complete control over a successful performance.
6- What do world- leading coaches have?
1. A commitment to continuous improvement.
2. A belief that anything is possible.
3. An understanding of where your sport has been (history of the sport), where it is now and most importantly a vision for where it is going.
4. The confidence to be yourself – to be unique.
5. The energy to work hard consistently.
6. The strength and courage to refuse to compromise.
7. Outstanding communication abilities.
8. An understanding of who you are, what you value and what motivates you.
9. A passion for winning – a desire to be the best.
10. The capacity to persevere and persist and continue to fight hard no matter what obstacles you face.
5- How I will organize my sessions with novice rowers?
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
1) To become a good rower takes a long time. Because it takes a long time you need to have an action plan to keep them coming back to practice. Clear improvement motivates rowers.
2) The process of building the strength and the coordination is long and hard. There is NO SECRET. The key ingredient is: TO TAKE GOOD STROKES!
If we know that it takes a long time and we need many good strokes:
- Why do we care about the split on the stationary erg when they don’t even know how to hold an oar?
- Why do we race them when they don’t know how to row?
If I was coaching novices I will try to have a system like the martial arts one with different levels where in order to race, rowers will need to perform level of skills on the boat to earn the right to race or go to higher rates.
If you look at Taekwondo, they have a system where they repeat through forms the actions required for combat. Those forms get harder as the student improves.
Why don’t we have a system where the novices need to perform several skills and drills in small boats in order to race on the big boats?
How I will organize my training session on a regular day?
a) I will have them rowing on the water as much as possible. They will row at low rates with a balanced boat taking all the time good strokes. I will not go to higher rates until they can perform the movement correctly.
b) I will have them every day doing a body circuit with plenty of core exercises.
c) I will have them taking very slow and good strokes on the rowing machine with pause and very good posture. I will have them all rowing together at the same tempo.
I will repeat this over and over to develop their body strengths and coordination. The accumulation of good strokes it is the key to future success.
I will keep it simple and find ways to motivate them with some fun games and challenges.
4- Carlos and a good friend e.mail exchange:
This is how the conversation went this morning talking with one of the rowers:
- how are you doing, how is your back? How did you injured your back last year?
- “I never had problems with my back before. We did as usual our winter training on stationary erg and started rowing more on the water during the spring. As we started rowing on the water, catch was bad for the whole 8+. Everybody was catching late and I was feeling it a lot. After that they moved me to the stroke seat. The same week we switched to the new C2 bigger blades and started doing some more starts and pieces”.
This whole combination was bad. As soon as I moved to the stroke seat I felt at the catch that I was alone and I was getting the whole boat load on my back. Also I could see it on the video so clear everytime we had video session.
It took me 4 days to blow out my back and get a huge pain. Actually by the end of the week that we changed to the bigger blades, I wasn’t able to finish the practice.
From that moment until the end of the season I was in and out of the boat. In order to row the final race it was necessary medication and after that I went to the doctor and they told me I had blowed out 2 discs of my back.
I got to row this National Championships but now I cannot row anymore. After 20 minutes of rowing continuous my back hurts and I need to stop.
Rowing the stationary erg made the Team develop the wrong timing at the catch and because of that they didn’t know how to load the regular blades anymore. Another problem of rowing the stationary erg so much and not the water is that their strengths and core didn’t develop right and their backs weren’t able to support the stress generated from these strong legs and arms.
The new solution to the bad timing at the catch and not good connection:
Changing to bigger blades to try to solve the problem of the load, connection with a bigger surface.
Because the stationary ergometer destroys the timing at the catch, a solution is to develop a bigger area on the blade. Today, a huge percentage of High school and college crews are rowing on these new huge blades that are a lot more aggressive on the back of the rowers.
Answer on April 26:
A very sad story; That is the very reason why Rowperfect was developed in the first place, to protect back and knees.
The sad story is that especially in seat racing it is the best rowers who are demolished in this way.
I hope we can help to decrease the number of cases like this; unfortunately we cannot prevent coaches from not seeing this and doing wrong things at the expense of their young and inexperienced pupils.
So tell the guy not all hope is lost.
3- Carlos explaining the catch
2 – Why the future is Dynamic erg?
1-Row well from the first stroke!
Brain keeps memory in reserve in cellular pockets
Brain cells which maintain memory are provided with storage space for proteins which are essential to fix experience and memories. These storage spaces are vesicles which are surrounded by a membrane (endosomes). The presence of these endosomes with the memory proteins makes nerve cells extra sensitive for vehement or repeatedly experienced stimuli. That memory is related to changes in brain cells is obvious, but recently researchers at the Brown and Duke university in the United states unraveled one of the mechanisms for the creation of memory.
When children learn to ride a bike, their nervous system has to process all kinds of new stimuli. At first cycling is a question of dropping and rising, but after some time – and for the rest of their lives – children get onto their bikes and ride away as if it were self evident.
The ability to ride a bike is then anchored into their central nervous system.
In neurobiology learning and remembering are called Long Term Potentiation (LTP).
The central nervous system then adapts to continuously repeating stimuli and ensures that these are followed by a learned or remembered reaction.
The usual explanation for the formation of these fixed patterns is that frequently used connections (synapses) between brain cells can be activated more easily, but how exactly this occurs was hitherto unclear.
Most nerve cells have a long extension with one or more synapses at the end with which they keep in contact with other cells. An impulse is transferred from one cell to another by excretion by the synapse of a dose of neurotransmitters. This chemical message only arrives at the receiving cell if this cell has receptor proteins, capable of binding to the neurotransmitters, in its membrane. It has been known for years that the surface of the membrane of a long term potentiated cell contains a receptor (NMDA) which, upon contact with the neurotransmitter glutamate, triggers action in the receiving cell.
One of these actions is the mobilisation, with lightning speed, of other receptors, in particular one called AMPA. The mobilisation of extra receptors increases the sensitivity of the synapse.
These additional AMPA molecules are released so massively and so rapidly that scientists wondered where these come from so abundantly and so suddenly.
Researchers now have demonstrated that cells that receive repeated impulses have, at the level of their synapses, small submicroscopic pockets (endosomes) in which AMPA is stored.
When necessary, these pockets are emptied and AMPA is transported to the membrane surface by special transport proteins.
The most astonishing aspect of the discovery however was that after use, the used AMPA molecules are retrieved by the same endosomes Apparently these nerve cells have a mechanism to manage their AMPA molecules in a very economic manner. They are permanently available, but only when needed.
Whether they are needed or not, is determined by the “scout” NMDA.
Whether this mechanism is also valid for other substances known to play a role in the creation of memory and in learning processes, will be subject to future research.
In my opinion this article explains the importance of repeated stimuli for learning and remembering a certain pattern of co-ordination, and do it right from the first time on. Because it is vital for the survival of our organism to have a large number of preferential impulse trains and impulse pathways highly automated this way, it also explains why a fixed co-ordination pattern is so difficult to change.
If you regularly repeat an exercise/movement/behavior your nervous system “primes” itself, and can therefore respond very quickly, easily and economically by performing that action as soon as you decide to do it. Complete patterns of movement are stored in an area of the brain which simply starts the entire sequence, rather than remembering the myriad details of that movement.