Many rowers and rowing coaches would like a more in-depth understanding of the various aspects of rowing, but a full-on coaching course can be very time-consuming and may seem rather daunting. If this sounds like you, the interactive workshops of SaarRowingCenter, in collaboration with Stichting Roeicoach, may be right up your alley. For all our coaching courses, SaarRowingCenter closely collaborates with this Dutch coaching consortium, whose name translates as “The Rowing Coach Foundation”. More information (Dutch only) about Stichting Roeicoach can be found on www.roeicoach.com.
Over the last few years, we have developed a number of interactive workshops around themes originating from some recurrent questions that often pop up in our various courses and training programmes, such as:
Workshop: What is the essence of rowing?
Rowing – it looks so easy. However, we all know it takes considerable effort to acquire “the perfect stroke”. So how do we get a rower to make good strokes? How can we enable a rower to row well? There are many different components that make up the stroke; so what is the most important part? In this workshop, participants will focus on these questions using interactive methods and with supervision from experienced trainers. Because of the way it is structured, both rowers and coaches, of different levels of experience, can participate and work together. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a satisfactory answer to the question “What is the essence of rowing?” Straightforward and clear, and suitable for coaches and rowers of any level.
Workshop: How do rowers learn?
Rowers are just like other people, and like other people, they do not all learn in the same way. Some rowers may even seem incapable of learning at all… As a coach, you are the one who will need to adapt to the rower, if you want them to learn anything. But how? You can’t expect the rower to adapt to the coach. So how can you, as a coach, express yourself in a way that is (even) better matched to the rower’s needs? In other words, how can you be an (even) better coach? This workshop is not about rowing technique; rather, we focus on different issues that often limit effective coaching, such as how to make people feel comfortable; how to identify quickly the way a person learns – their learning styles and preferences; why you, as a coach, seem to provoke resistance, even though you are only trying to help; how to handle rowers you don’t feel any kind of connection with. In other words, how should you act and what attitudes should you adopt to make your technical coaching more effective? In this workshop, participants will explore the different learning styles, will find out what their preferred learning style is (unconscious competence) and will thus also become aware of the learning style(s) that will demand more effort from you. The workshop offers a practical way to work out how rowers learn, and what you need to do to become an even better coach.
Workshop: What is the essence of coaching?
Once you understand what the essence of rowing is, and once you realise not all rowers learn in the same way, only then does coaching become more than just accompanying your crew, armed with a loud hailer. And only then will novice coaching be more than good intentions, holding the boat or speaking words of encouragement at beginners in a tub/C4. This workshop will explore coaching using a two-step approach. Step 1 is the analysis: what should the rower change and/or improve? In step 2, the question we try to answer is “How do you get the rower to change/improve this?” In other words, in step 1 our question is: What does the rower do? and in step 2: How do I tackle this as a coach? What should I tell or show the rower? What drill or exercise would work here?
We will practice steps 1 and 2 using short videos of single scullers during an outing.
Workshop: Train The Trainer
How can I make my coaching and my instructions more effective? Going through the theory is all very well, and can even be useful, but the actual rowing is done out on the water. Coaches can be experts about rowing technique and theory, but that does not automatically make them effective in their coaching. In this workshop, an experienced coach/supervisor from SaarRowingCenter will accompany participants while these are coaching their crews, whether that is done standing on the pontoon or cycling alongside the rowers. While coaching, you will receive 1:1 coaching with constructive feedback from your coach supervisor. He or she will support you, as and when necessary, with the analysis (step 1) and the approach and drills for your rowers (step 2) From experience, we know that this 1:1 approach for coaching supervision is very effective. It often helps coaches to take great strides toward becoming more effective in their coaching.
This Train The Trainer workshop will ideally be combined with regular coaching and instruction taking place at your club, for instance during your club’s Beginners’ course, or as part of a regular training programme for rowers who have mastered the basics and are keen to take the next step.
Workshop: Effective video-analysis
How can I use rowing video-analysis effectively? How can I involve my rowers effectively in video-analysis? There you are, camera overflowing with rowing footage, rowers looking expectantly at the screen… Now what? For most rowers, video-analysis is at its most effective when done shortly after the outing, with the next outing following shortly after the analysis. This leaves the coach little time for thorough substantive preparation. How to handle this? How can you provide sufficient depth to the analysis while at he same time keeping it reasonably short? What can you do to hold your rowers’ attention during the analysis? How can you make sure everyone actively participates, rather than just the same two or three rowers all the time? How to treat the “weakest member of the crew”? This workshop will provide tools and suggestions on interactive video-analysis with your rowers, creating an opportunity for everyone to speak (if desired), in the often limited time available.
Workshop: Boat rigging
What adjustments should be made to the boat when, and why? The possibilities for adjustments in the boat are almost endless, ranging from basic adjustments such as the position of the footplate, swivel height and length of the scull/oar, to somewhat more advanced adjustments such as the span width, the angle of the footplate and grip of the sculls/oars. Although you would probably not want just anyone in the club to start messing with the span width of the club’s boats, it is nevertheless good for rowers to realise the effect the rigging of a boat can have on their stroke. How should a rower’s sculls or oar be adjusted if they are recovering from a lower back injury? And how should the footplate be positioned in line with this? What would be the proper distance through the pin, that is, the position from the pin to the rower’s seat at the catch? Why does rowing make some rowers’ necks hurt? We will not be picking up any tools or adjusting any boats during this workshop; instead, we will attempt to work out what the effects are of adjustments such as lengthening the inboard distance, increasing the swivel height, moving the foot plate, increasing the span width, etc.