It’s new year and time for planning plus reflection., We got this question from a reader
“So I’ve been rowing 5 years now and I’m 15 and I really want to take my rowing further, but I didn’t know how I could do this?”
Rowing as a sport has many different sides to it. I am going to guess you learned to scull and you have raced but that’s all you have done.
Here are some suggestions about new parts of rowing which you may want to explore. Remember, racing isn’t everyone’s choice – some enjoy rowing with friends, and lots of people try different types of rowing for new challenges. Also, at 15 you may not be fully grown and certainly your body will get stronger as you continue rowing over the next 5 years which will make you go faster (if that’s what you want to do).
- Try sweep rowing
- Learn to sweep on both stroke side and bow side
- Learn how to steer a coxless boat (4x, 2- or 4-)
- Buy a speed meter (Coxmate GPS is one type) and learn how fast you go, try to go faster at different rates 20, 26 and 30+
- Set yourself a 2k erg score target to beat (this should be 10-20 seconds faster than you currently do)
- Ask another coach to teach you how to coach rowing and sculling
- Volunteer to teach the learn to row class at a Rowing Club local to you
- Learn how to do pilates, yoga or weight lifting (all will improve your rowing strength and conditioning)
- Join the rowing club committee and give back to the club by helping them run the organisation for a year
- Try fund raising for some new equipment (start small but plan big). Have fun choosing what the club should buy with your new money
- Recruit some school friends to start rowing and help to teach them
- Try a ‘different’ type of rowing – traditional rowing boats are called skiffs and there are clubs throughout the Thames Valley
- Try punting
- Go to the seaside and try coastal rowing – or ocean rowing.
- Go on a rowing camp and get coached by someone different.
- Enter an ergo competition
- Contact your favourite athlete on the British Rowing team (lots are on Twitter) and ask them your questions about what it was like rowing when they were 15
- Learn how to analyse the data from your Coxmate using their GPS app and produce graphs for each outing and share them with the coach.
- Start a training diary and see how much you improve each month
- Learn how to be a rowing umpire
- Volunteer to help at the club regatta or head race – learn how to marshall crews, run the timing system or organise the food and drink sales
- Start a buddy system for younger rowers to train alongside more experienced people like you. Then ask the seniors in the club if you can buddy them. Go out in a 2x or 4x with older, stronger people and see how different it is!
- As a woman, go rowing with a man and see how much stronger they are. Use this to improve your own rowing strength and power application
- pay to have a video analysis done of your erg or sculling technique (we have lots of coaches who will do this for $10 or less).
- Start to research universities who row and where you might study – go visit them
I hope that this gives you some ideas of different ways to enjoy rowing