Remote Rowing Coach


Rowperfect has just unleashed its latest weapon for rowers and coaches.  Her name is Raf Wyatt, and she is a rowing coach extraordinaire, ready to bring remote coaching to your home, be it anywhere in the world.

Raf has coached in New Zealand, Holland, UK and Switzerland.  Working with Rowperfect UK she is the principal author of the Rowing Coach pages on our website.  And she provides advice by Skype and email for club rowing coaches on how to improve their own coaching skills, training programmes and technique, as well as advice for athletes.

What You Get

You’re living far from a boathouse and want to maintain form with your rowperfect and need some advice on how to improve.  Or you’re part of a regular team but feel you can excel.  Whether you’re a coach or athlete, you can go to our shop and purchase Remote Rowing Coaching with Raf Wyatt.  What you’ll get is this:

Option 1: Three email exchanges and a 5 minute rowing video (you send it to Raf, and she analyses) for £30

Option 2: One 30 minute skype call or two 15 minute skype calls with Raf for £50

How Remote Rowing Coaching Works

Raf recently provided remote rowing coaching for Thomas Carter.  Below you can see their volley of emails.  Two sets of emails are displayed below, (see how much information is packed in there?) but with the purchase of the remote rowing coach (Option 1), you get three.

Tom Rowing Video 1

Tom said: To me it looks like im not quite rocking over quick enough before I break the knees, and maybe over-compressing slightly at the catch, Plus im not using my back much at the finish!One thing I wondered is I did notice the seats moving quite a lot, is that normal or do I need to work on having that move less?

Raf responds:  Hi Tom, Good video: I liked the slow-mo inserts and you were spot on with your own analysis when it came to rocking over and over-compression. There were a few strokes around about 4’20” where you did manage to give yourself a bit more time.

I’d fix the rocking over first. It may be that your late body swing is pushing you further forward at the catch; if not, then try raising your feet a notch or two.

You talked about rocking over more quickly; I’d talk about rocking over sooner so that you don’t have to think about trying to add speed to the movement. I get my athletes to think of moving their elbows out to their knees before they start rolling. Don’t know why but it often has better results than talking about hands, maybe because the hands relax.

Or you can start thinking about the pressure on your feet and it’s a good thing that you were rowing with bare feet, making it easy to see what’s going on down there. By about 1/4 slide in the recovery you should have your whole foot, both feet, back on the footboard and actively pressing. Inflexibility usually means that the heels will start lifting in the last quarter but for better stability and connection try and maximise the time your feet are in contact with the footboard. To get the pressure on your feet you have to have swung your body weight far enough forward – another case of thinking about something else to get the right reaction from your body. When you get this right on the Rowperfect you’ll find that you don’t have to do anything else to get the wheel coming back to you; get it right in the boat and you’ll have the same feeling of you and the boat arriving at the catch at the same time.

And if you’re looking for anything else, try thinking about your foot pressure through the drive as well especially with your heels through the middle. Or what about that right wrist cocking up towards the finish? Or making the machine noise louder through the stroke showing off your acceleration?  have fun, Raf

Tom Rowing Video 2

Tom says: (Here) is of a 20 min piece I did this morning before work (so was a bit sleepy) mostly at 18spm but for the last 3-4 minuites I first tried to change the curve from the “bell” type of curve that I imagine is better for a sculler to be doing to more of a front ended curve that would be more appropriate for faster boats like 8+’s, 4x’s etc or at least that is my assumption? (please feel free to correct me if this is not correct!) and then I took the rate up for the last minute or so in order to see what affect that had on the curve.

 Raf responds: Hi Thomas, Thanks for another interesting video; it’s good to see you trying for different effects.  Yes, there is a school of thought that suggests loading the front end of the stroke is a good thing to do in an eight/faster boat. People are still arguing about whether it’s something that happens or something that you should make happen; either way there seems to be a need for quicker reaction times off the front in the faster boats.

And yes, the quicker reactions do spring from your feet . . . or should. I think that you might be loading your shoulders when you’re trying to move more quickly off the front. this happens in your lighter work/slower ratings as well so I think the first thing is to make it possible for your feet/legs to move more freely.

Set the machine to a lighter setting using the bigger cog and more plastic discs. I remember Harry Mahon always insisting on the lightest settings and even using coats or plastic bags to make it lighter still when he was working with the Cambridge eights to help generate a quick reaction and connection.

Try locking down and stabilising your shoulder blades before and during the catch; a good exercise is rowing with your hands upside-down (holding the handle from underneath).

Also try rowing short strokes: 1/4 slide from either end of the slide getting used to have less time to react. I like rowing a 2:1 ratio (2 strokes 1/4: 1 stroke full) to keep reinforcing the feeling of being light on the feet.

And when you’re working on front-stop rowing keep your belly button close to your thighs that little bit longer (ie keep your body angle closed) so that you really are starting the stroke on your feet.

What i suspect but couldn’t quite see is that the leg drive is also uneven. The camera wasn’t quite square off this time so it was harder to make comparisons. I couldn’t see your feet either so they could perhaps be higher still.  Have fun, Raf

 Read more about the remote rowing coach services by email or by skype


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