“How valuable is sculling without a coach watching? Meaning, if I have opportunities to scull in a team boat with a coach should I do that instead of rowing my 1x alone?”
That’s a great question.
Rowing has two parts to it as a sport – guided practice and solo training. You need to learn to row well and so guided practice with a coach is valuable. But you also need to be able to row without external guidance (particularly if you race as you’re on your own out on the racetrack) and so a balance of both is valuable for all of us.
My advice is to pick a balance between solo and crew rowing that suits your personality and your goals. If you want to race and like the idea of doing more than one event – say your single plus a crew boat, then try a 50:50 split of outings.
If you just like occasional crew outings – offer yourself as a substitute when another athlete is injured or ill. This gives you less certainty of an outing and may be disruptive to your other training efforts, but it allows you to step in an be the hero so the rest of the crew can get a training session in. I think you will know your preferred solution.
Now my personal view about having a coach watching is that it is very, very valuable. Coaching is so important to keeping you skilful and focused on efficient movement and effective boat propulsion. And I’d advise at least once a month getting some input from a coach, if you can.