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
- Teaching sculling to beginners – a how-to plan by Mike Sullivan sold as a fund raiser for his club
- British Rowing Technique – how the top rowing nation teaches technique
- Coaching the Coxswain – deep, detailed advice for the coach who’s never been a cox.
- Andy Probert’s coxswain tips – perfect for beginners learning the art of steering
- Rowing blisters and skin injuries – share this with your athletes because you KNOW they’ll get blisters!