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 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



Subscribe to our Newsletter for more information:

Our Rowing Network

Did you like this post? Support this blog and our network by donating

Feel like Rowing again? Visit the Shop at coastal-boats.eu!

Accessories, equipment, boats, clothing

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Whether it’s sports, nutrition or equipment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these categories


Everything about rowing – browse through our large archive or search for articles of your choice


Search Blog


Rowing Network

Do you like our posts? Support this blog and our network by donating


Get all latest content and news!