We got a question in from the Captain of a student rowing club “How do you deter your athletes from binge drinking when the athletic union promotes it a minimum of once a week!”
We answer the Rowing Question
Tough situation: the long term solution is to only select athletes for your crews who don’t indulge in the binges if you really can’t live with having binge drinking athletes in your crews. But as I’m guessing as you are a student you will probably not be there within another few years and a new Captain with different rules will take over.
I would suggest a couple of possible solutions
- set a target goal (BUCS?) for the squad and get everyone to agree that they will do their best to go as fast as possible at that competition
- then get everyone to help you write a list of the things that will positively contribute to making the boat go fast
- then get everyone to help you write a list of the things that will negatively take away from making the boat go fast
As a squad, you should then discuss whether you want the goal enough, that you are prepared to ALL commit to enhancing the positives and cutting down on the negatives
If there is a talented rower who won’t commit to cutting the negatives (which may be more than the binge drinking), then ask the coach not to select them. Even if they are a good rower, if you really want to stop this culture, you may have to make a sacrifice of a good athlete in order to get the message across to the rest that this is worthwhile.
What did you do when you were a student rower?