RowingChat with Jim Flood – summary


Today’s RowingChat with Jim Flood covered a lot of topics – we tweeted alongside the event live.  Here’s a summary of what we learned taken from our Twitter feed.

US Rowing website has video  on common faults and how to improve them.

It took me years and years to realise that when I was talking to these athletes they were trying their hardest – if they weren’t succeeding it was because I wasn’t succeeding in explaining, demonstrating to facilitate understanding.

Tennis and Football have amazing coaching materials. FA site has wonderful examples.
Setting the athletes problems to solve for themselves – we learn by teaching ourselves.

The way you were taught as a teacher is a big influence on how you teach. Most coaches over age 40 would have experienced didactic coaching – it’s ingrained as a procedure. So participant-focused coaching is not well received.

Get coaches to be adventurous – make learners complicit in the learning process. What’s working and what’s not working. It isn’t comfortable for the coach.

When coaching in Africa – it’s a very difficult concept – school teaching is very didactic. The coach has authority and a hierarchy and the idea is an anathema.

Where the countries are winning medals they have coaching structures, talent identification and the money.

FISA has free coaching materials you can download.

The 10 stroke test – warm up and over 30 strokes row their hardest to achieve max score over 10 strokes. Raw Power measure.

Monthly tests are useful for improvements – checks which parts of your training programme are working with each athlete.

Not enough coaches change the span in boat gearing. Reducing span increases stroke length and allows rowers to feel higher load.

Measure sweep angle – photographs from a bridge as you row under. Youtube drone camera flying over a boat.

Sweep angle of 85 degrees in an elite crew – some can do 90 degrees in sculling especially top athletes.

If sweep angle is low e.g. 75 degrees reduce span so they can get out to the catch. Work on Flexibility and posture as well.

Free video editing software – Coaches Eye – plus rigger software to measure sweep angles.

Learn to Row programmes recruit to the club and have problems with gap before getting into a crew boat.

1 – communicate a clear progression through to squads, recreational or self-directed independent rowing.

some respond well to didactic coaching being shouted at but others find it alienating.

2 – support from teaching, resources not having to hang around waiting for a crew, coach or boat

3 – the quality of coaching – the beginners should get the best coaches. Communicate enthusiasm.

need to communicate a sense of purpose and confidence to rowing ‘improvers’. Get a culture in a club that is welcoming to newcomers.

Watch and learn from other coaches – sit in on others’ sessions. A Good Rowing Coach must be a thief – steal good ideas!

Even watching a “bad” coach can be useful – that’s not the way I want to coach.

Too many club coaches are insular – they don’t even discuss with each other.

FISA @worldrowing development program exists to keep rowing in the Olympics by increasing participation

North African rowers are very aspirational. It’s a bit like when the Chinese started rowing.

Olympic Scholarships – the IOC has Olympic Solidarity gives scholarships for rowers to train in N America, Europe and Australia to bring them on.

In 10 years I’d like to see more FISA training camps and offering more courses – the ideas exchange and top coaches will raise standards.

@worldrowing should promote boat building and manufacture in the home countries e.g. Kenya, Uganda have to import

Nigeria has a container of boats released from customs after 11 years. Dispute on tax and import duty

India and Africa could benefit from local boat building.

Can we re-introduce restricted boats in regattas? Buenos Aires 500 participants supplied by the organisers

We need people in Europe and North America making open ergs

When testing oars do a series over 500m six times. Use same blades – gives an idea of fatigue factor.

then change rig or oars and build in to your test results.

Athletes need to know the answers to 1 – what to learn 2- how to learn it 3 how they’re doing it

Exercises to prevent throwing back your head at the catch. Use @USRowing website videos coaching ergs

Start experimenting as a coach – small steps in athlete-focused coaching

Listen to athletes. Ask how do you feel about changes in the boat.

CPD and self-development and reflection. Many people find this hard.

Jim Flood #hero Thomas Poulson should come on #rowingchat

Thomas Poulson – get to know the rowers – how they think. I listen to them.

Matt Rostrum learn to row courses for big London rowing clubs…



Subscribe to our Newsletter for more information:

Our Rowing Network

Did you like this post? Support this blog and our network by donating

Feel like Rowing again? Visit the Shop at!

Accessories, equipment, boats, clothing

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Whether it’s sports, nutrition or equipment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these categories


Everything about rowing – browse through our large archive or search for articles of your choice


Search Blog


Rowing Network

Do you like our posts? Support this blog and our network by donating


Get all latest content and news!