Of late I have been coaching various crews in Cambridge UK, the Robinson College 1st Women’s boat and some crews from Champion of the Thames, and have been coaching women for the first time for a number of years. All the crews have been preparing themselves for The Bumps .
Apart from being great fun this experience has re-confirmed a belief I formed many years ago. Men and women are different! So what?
I often get asked questions along the lines of ‘What differences should there be in the training programme for men and women?’ I don’t think there should be a significant difference. I believe men and women can, and should, row the same way, train the same way; do the same amount of work.
Where I see the difference is in the attitudes displayed. These are merely generalisations, but like all good generalisations, have a grain of truth in them. If a men’s boat isn’t going well the first reaction from most of the crew is ‘The others are messing it up for me’. Women react with the polar opposite ‘Sorry, I am messing it up for you’.
The interesting question for me is how I should react, and yes I know my views are filtered through my attitudes and experiences, and are therefore not truly objective, coaching is a subjective business.
What are your experiences and suggestions?