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Steve Trapmore – Coaching a club squad

Steve is chief coach for Imperial College Boat Club and started his rowing career at Walton RC going all the way to Olympic gold in 2000 stroking the GB eight.

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Steve is chief coach for Imperial College Boat Club and started his rowing career at Walton RC going all the way to Olympic gold in 2000 stroking the GB eight.


  • we have absolute beginners through to junior internationals.
  • what does the athlete aspire to?
  • see if they are focused and engaged with what they are learning
  • you have to actively recruit new beginners each year


  • discuss everyting constantly#training / technique / selections.
  • Rotate coaches aroun the groups
  • understand the athlete
  • specialist talkes on nutrition, weights, stretching, rigging and time management
  • understand when an excuse is an illness or injury or a personal problem rather than an excuse e.g who are the slackers


  • it's got to be fun!
  • competitive
  • in a squad when some sstart performaning and get the idea of racing it creates its own momentum
  • for an individual it's more about targeting scores

Novices are usually first year students and the pressures of being away from home and learning university work are high. Have fun adn enjoy the group dynamic. By March we integrate them into the senior squad on training camp. the group environment is the most important thing. More than facilities, boats etc

Illustrate progress by measuremetn, splits, video ets

use still photos for static versus under pressure show them how their technique changes on the ergo.

Training programme

  • we train to race
  • understand the training – ensure the athletes do too
  • train in tehsame way you race
  • the national squad illusion – many of us have 'touched' the squad. Athletes see volume training and think that's what's needed to succeed. Their situations are not comparable.
  • plan the racing for athlete development – local, multi lane

Still water training is used to measure whether on water time training is developing at the same rate as on ergo training. Get coxes used to timing splits in sessions.

There is a 'lost art' of learning to race in two boats side by side. Local regattas include staggered starts and finishes, racing around corners and the tactics of match racing. It's important crews learn these as well as multi-lane racing.

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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