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What psychology makes a top rower?

I’ve often wondered whether all top athletes in rowing are just hard-assed bastards or if there’s something very … read more

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I’ve often wondered whether all top athletes in rowing are just hard-assed bastards or if there’s something very special about their brain make-up that which enables them to succeed in top sport.

Today my questions were answered.

I read a presentation from the FISA Coaches Conference by Annaelen Colletz from the German Rowing Federation in which she assessed athetes and also coach psychological profiles.

Take a read of two of her slides.

  • The first one showing four personality types and their varying attributes (commitment, discipline, social skills, co-operation, dominance and stability).
  • The second shows where the strengths and weaknesses of each type is across the attributes.

We all know that a “mad single sculler type” won’t be good in a crew boat – and that a team captain sometimes isn’t the best athlete and I think these graphs really bear that out.  If you are an individualist with low social skills, why would you want to hang out in a group?  And the ‘unstable type’ is very high in discipline – so although they have a wobbly personality they are demons for training and never miss a session.

What do you think?  Recognise anyone with these traits?

Four personality types for elite rowers

Strengths and weaknesses of elite rower personalities


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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