Become a rowing coach for your gap year


My son has just left school and has decided to take a gap year before going to University. He is a very good oarsman and has represented Scotland at junior level for the past two years. He would like to do some coaching, either in the UK or abroad, but we are unsure of the best way to get started. Any advise you could give would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Great question – there are many places where he could coach

One option is to find a UK club, school or university who wants help.  These jobs generally get advertised on the Rowing Noticeboard – take a browse backwards through the posts (most recent is at the top).

He would be well advised to prepare a short rowing CV/biography and include examples of any coaching experience, weight lifting or sporting qualifications he has already got.

A British Rowing Level 2 instructors award is worth getting because it helps the club hiring him with insurances.  Some clubs will offer to pay to put him through the course while he’s coaching.  

FISA also has a club manual which may be helpful.

If he has never coached before, I highly recommend buying a few of the e books on the Rowperfect shop (How to run a learn to row course; Balance for Beginner Rowers) or the DVDs listed here (Harry Mahon’s Technique is very good).  And also buy him some time with an expert coach who can ‘coach the coach’ and help him work out how to communicate his message effectively to get athletes to change what they do.  The skill of coaching is very different from being a good rower athlete.  It has to be learned from scratch.

Another option, is to look abroad for opportunities  the UK winter is the southern hemisphere summer and so approaching South Africa, Australia and New Zealand schools (high schools are best) and see if they want extra coaching.  From my experience there are many crying out for help – and better still he would probably get paid a bit while doing it too!  Though his parents would probably have to foot the bill for a flight there.

The same CV and qualifications will help him present himself well there.  I would start by approaching the Facebook pages for the Rowing Federation in each country; also send an email to their website asking the best way to publicise his availability.  Make sure he has a Skype address as well as a phone number on the CV so that they can arrange to speak for an interview.  And use a tool like WorldTimeBuddy to work out the timezone differences for that interview.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on.

Any other suggestions from the community?  If your club has a job vacancy let Rowperfect know and we’ll post it up on our blog so you can publicise.


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