7 rowing exercises to prevent rushing the slide


What land exercises can I do to improve slide control, so that I have more control going to the catch position?

Great question – and fantastic that you what to self-tutor on this.  Getting into the habit of working out how to make these

Kittens die if you rush the slide. Kittens die if you rush the slide.

changes yourself is a really great skill.

Several solutions for you to practice on the land and some which will transfer into the boat as well.

  1. First, understand what the rowing stroke should be like – Read expert coach Harry Mahon’s explanation including p3 “Float up the slide”  https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Slides-for-DVD-6.pdf
  2. Second – row alongside someone else who is MORE EXPERIENCED than you are…. have them sit their erg 2 feet further forward than yours so you can see exactly what they do throughout the stroke without moving your head (use peripheral vision).  Add a mirror if you can so you can see yourself too.  Row perfectly in time with them for 5 minutes.  Get them to row at rate 20, then change to rowing at rate 22 for 5 minutes, then back to rate 20 for 5 minutes….. it is much easier to copy an expert than figure it out for yourself.
  3. Row on the ergo feet out of the foot straps – do your normal training without straps around your feet. …. you can rush the slide but you will better appreciate the timing of when you arrive at front stops.  Then row in the boat feet out of the shoes
  4. The best solution is to train on a RP3 rowing simulator…. row feet out on this too. watch the top 2 videos on this page http://www.carlosdinares.com/carlos-dinares-tip-495-rushing-the-slide-to-the-rowing-catch/
  5. Have a metronome in the boat or on the ergo set to a consistent beep (the Coxmate SX has this function) and get the crew to do a drill at 16 strokes per minute where each athlete tries to be the LAST person to arrive at the catch – full compression.You must not stop moving up the slide during the drill – stay continuously moving but at low rate.
  6. Do reverse ratio drill – instead of trying to control the slide, do the opposite for 10 strokes.  Rush as FAST as you can to the catch (put the oar in the water) and then go very slowly through the power phase (oar in the water), as soon as you have taken the oar out at the finish RUSH to the catch.  Then do 10 strokes of the opposite ratio – rush through the power phase of the rowing stroke oar in the water, and go slow up the slide i.e. normal rowing.  Focus on making a clear contrast between the rush and non-rush.
  7. Do the drill Double Quick Hands and Double Slow Slide – row normally and then for 10 stroke take the oar out at the finish and move your hands away / body over and just break the knees TWICE as fast as normal….. as soon as the knees are bent, go TWICE as slow up the slide to the catch.  You can do this on the erg and in the boat.
  8. Read this expert article by Troy Howell of Craftsbury Sculling Centre about teaching ratio and rhythmhttps://www.rowperfect.co.uk/teaching-rowers-rhythm-and-ratio/
  9. And this one about coaching a long stroke – by taking the focus away from the rush and coaching the long stroke you can improve the acceleration in the power phase and reduce the deceleration in the recovery phase https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/coaching-a-long-stroke-in-rowing/  
  10. Read this discussion on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/Rowing/comments/1bixk0/how_to_combat_crippling_rush_in_the_boat_lack_of/
  11. Get your coxswain to “cox” an ergo session for the crew and have him/her read this article on how to identify rush and what to do about it https://readyallrow.wordpress.com/tag/rush/

Controversially, I will say that you can actually go up the slide quite fast (which could be called rushing) if you are skilful and don’t miss the catch placement.  Your ability and skill in actually placing the blade in the water at the catch before you change direction on the slide is directly proportional to the possibility you have of rushing the slide.  High skill = you can ‘rush’ a bit.

The more proficient you are, the more you can rush and not slow the boat down. So if you are coaching novices or low skill rowers you cannot let them rush the slide because you cannot place the oar and pick up the boat before you crash the stern down into the water and slowing down the forward momentum.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Adrian Ellison

    A few more thoughts on “not rushing the recovery”:
    On the water, think about making the recovery more passive, and simply let the boat bring the footboard to you. The boat will be gliding at a more-or-less constant speed beneath you, so your feet will come towards you at a more-or-less constant speed. You can only allow the boat to slide under you if you don’t push on the footboard until you’ve put your blade(s) into the water (so you are also reducing hull check, as a bonus).
    Practice “roll-ups” when the boat is stationary – being relaxed and patient whilst you slide and simply put the oar(s) into the water as you arrive at full compression. When you are consistently good at timing this at a steady slide-speed (say, equivalent to striking 18-20) then try sliding faster without losing the control and placement timing. Ultimately, you should be as technically competent (and controlled and confident) at a speed equivalent to striking in the 40s as you are at half that speed.
    Imagine that you have a pair of raw eggs under your feet whilst you are sliding, and you mustn’t even crack the eggshells until your blade(s) are buried (hence no pressure on the footboard during the recovery).
    Combine this visualisation with imagining that you have a glass of water (or even a crystal champagne flute!) on the deck in front of you, and you have to make the transition from recovery to drive without spilling anything!
    Try to move so fluidly from one power-phase into the next one that the boat doesn’t do anything – no wobbling, no stern dip or check on the run, keeping your bowball cutting through the water behind you at an absolutely constant speed.
    Learn to improve your feel for the boat – move in harmony with it, not against it.

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