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How a rowing club deals with lots of new members

The post-Olympic high has led to a flush of people visiting Rowing Club websites and asking to join. … read more

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The post-Olympic high has led to a flush of people visiting Rowing Club websites and asking to join. Although it’s lovely to get lots of new members, they are very resource-intensive for clubs to accommodate.

So how can rowing clubs deal with lots of new members?

  • Force all new joiners to start at the same date
  • Have a new intake once a month / 6 weeks so there’s time to process dropouts
  • Set a time to row when the rest of the club is empty e.g. Sunday afternoon
  • Pay coaches to teach the novices – try your local university students they always need cash
  • Set ‘rules’ for the new group e.g. everyone in the 8 has to turn up every week so there are no problems with absentees
  • In order to get an 8 on the water you need to recruit 15 people.
  • Get new joiners to pay up front for a 6 week course – so if they drop out, you’ve already got the cash.
  • Offer a discount off full club membership if they continue afterwards
  • Teach men and women together in the same crews
  • Encourage a social event as part of the 6 weeks to get people making friends and enable other club members to meet them

Need to train your coaches / members on teaching beginners?

Rowperfect has put together a short list of e books that you can use to help refresh memories and ensure you’re all using the same techniques:

  1. Teaching sculling to beginners – a how-to plan by Mike Sullivan sold as a fund raiser for his club
  2. British Rowing Technique – how the top rowing nation teaches technique
  3. Coaching the Coxswain – deep, detailed advice for the coach who’s never been a cox.
  4. Andy Probert’s coxswain tips – perfect for beginners learning the art of steering
  5. Rowing blisters and skin injuries – share this with your athletes because you KNOW they’ll get blisters!
About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe
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