How to use video with your rowing crews – Part 3


Raf Wyatt continues her article series on how to use video as a coaching aide for rowing and sculling. Part 1 Part 2

Watching your movie

This is where careful planning, even scripting, pay off.  Looking at the film with your athletes will take at least 2-3 times as long as the film itself (another reason for training camp movies).

You can reduce the time by having everything set up (viewing room, monitor/screen, cables) before you start.  It also helps to know how to work the machines or have someone around who can for you.  Do you want to see it first and plan what to say before the crew arrives?  Can you make use of frame-by-frame or freeze-frame to emphasize aspects of the stroke? Is the quality good enough to show what you want?

  • Brief the athletes as to what to look/aim for at the beginning of the session so they’re not distracted by other parts of the stroke.
  • Think about how to hold their attention – do you need to have the whole eight there as you go through individual points?
  • Are they cold and wet?
  • Do they have to get to class?
  • Do you need to watch the whole video now? Could you watch now and send everyone an edited copy later?
  • Can you upload it to YouTube as a private film so they can review it at their leisure?

If you’ve got time then you’re much better positioned to let them discover their own strengths and weaknesses.  The shots you have taken, the shots you use for comparison, the questions you ask – these can all lead to great “a-ha” moments for the rowers, moments where ‘I see’ turns into ‘I understand’.

Please send me your questions about video by adding a comment below this post and I’ll try to answer them.

Raf Wyatt is a consulting rowing coach and has worked in New Zealand, Holland, UK and Switzerland. Working with Rowperfect UK she provides advice by Skype and email for club rowing coaches on how to improve their own coaching skills, training programmes and technique.


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