Where to start putting together training sessions for J13s & J12s new to rowing?
You have a great task ahead of you for your new athletes. If you can get them encouraged, they will stick with Rowing into the future. I coached 10 – 14 year olds for 5 years and so have experience in this area.
Here’s where I suggest you start…. plan simple outings which contain 3 elements
- handling the equipment correctly and safely
- Executing a drill or exercise three times during the outing
- A timed or distance row suited to their abilities
What you have to do is to keep the outings interesting, challenging while remembering that attention spans are short with youngsters.
So for example
- handling the equipment. Can they carry a boat, put the oars in correctly, push off, while taking turns to be the coxswain
- drills – concentrate on short exercises of 10-20 strokes with normal paddling in between. Do each one at least 3 times. Ensure the boat is balanced during the drill so you may want to leave half the crew sitting the boat while the other learns it.
- racing – whether low rate or higher. short distances or longer – all kids love racing… tell them the challenge and time them
I also ask them to give themselves points out of 10 for their perception of how well they do number 1 and 2 above.
Invest in your coaching education too
I suggest you buy yourself an ebook written for coaches like yourself. There are a wide range of ebooks on our shop which suit your situation. Take a look at these for starters.
I also recommend you invest in yourself by learning how communication affects your ability as a coach Coach Communications will help
If they have parents who’ve never rowed – get them to buy this A Parent’s guide to rowing
Hope this helps and please let us know how you get on.