Coaching the ’empowered’ athlete

Empowered coach, coaching masters

Coaching masters is not the same as youth rowers. We debunk the myths about masters rowers being ‘un-coachable’. Adjust how you coach, how the athlete interacts with you and with the rest of the crew.

Guest Duncan Holland explains his framework for the empowered athlete.


02:27 Debunking the myth of masters being uncoachable.

“I find it relatively easy & a lot of fun.”

Duncan Holland

Learning in different ways. Words or pictures and videos.

05:00 Organising masters is easier than juniors.

A coaching philosophy

What do you need to coach? – enough knowledge of how to row, how to rig, how to race.

This makes it easier for ex-rowers.

08:00 How to give feedback is the next most important skill.

Feedback is the base interaction between athlete and coach.

09:00 The need to write a program if athletes want to get faster. It’s better if the coach writes it. Faster Masters sells training programs for masters rowers.

10:00 How to be safe on the water. Local regulations are known.

5 types of feedback

Five different levels of feedback

  1. No Feedback – Nothing
  2. Negative feedback “why kids must behave”
  3. Zero Feedback. When you say “good” or “you missed” it’s not encouragement. Not telling them anything useful.
  4. Subjective Feedback. When you tell them information or how and what they did. Me-tell-you.
  5. Objective Feedback. Athlete tells the coach what you think you did first. Then I confirm or correct.

20:00 The empowered athlete.

The wrong idea is the coach is boss.

The coach is one of the tools an athlete uses to meet their goals.

24: 00 Coaches are rare. Athletes have knowledge gaps. Athletes take responsibility for their technique. Help is available. For example people in your crew.

25:00 How to use a model of rowing technique.

You must have an agreed model of how we row. Put the model on the wall in the training room. Compare how you row to the model. Ask for help and HOW to change. Seek feedback.

29:00 The empowered athlete is in control asking for feedback in a situation where they are in charge.

32:00 How to solve the problem of getting a coach for your masters crew.

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