How to teach rowing and sculling skill drills


We continue with our posts about exercises to improve your technique. Today’s topic: How to teach rowing and sculling skill drills

A bit of personal teaching philosophy:

I like to teach skills by explaining to the athlete that it’s like climbing a ladder, i.e. a progression of steps.  They need to know the full progression.  Start working on the one that fits their ability – climb up a step if it’s going well and if it doesn’t seem to be good, step back down a level or two, re-establish the balance, confidence and control and then try to step up to do a tougher variant of the drill.

Some drills benefit from allowing the athlete to run the oars along the surface of the water during the recovery – this is the ultimate stable position in sculling.  It’s like having trainer wheels on a bike – worth knowing that it’s there if they lose confidence. But to be avoided if possible.

The fastest way to teach an athlete a new skill is to enable them to gain confidence in their ability to do the new movement.

This is why the ‘ladder’ concept works so well – every person chooses their own level of confidence and can progress onwards at their own pace.

I’ve found that adult beginners and women often lack confidence in trying new things.  They mentally block out the possibility that they will be able to do what you’re teaching and so impede their own ability to actually acquire the skill.  The ladder concept helps them to build their own confidence.

What do you do?  Has a system like this worked for you?


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