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Digging at the finish in sweep

I notice I keep digging my oar when pulling in. And we for some reason tend to lean towards port, which is what I row Seat 4 or 6. Is it just my rigging I need to adjust?

How to stop digging at the finish

Firstly some observations from your question
  1. It is correct to lean your body (torso) slightly towards your side so port rowers lean to port, starboard to starboard.
  2. If the boat leans to port… that is most likely caused by hand heights – one side is too high and one too low (even a tiny bit). This may make it feel like your oar gets stuck in the water at the finish if the boat is not level at that moment.
  3. Digging your oar is probably caused by you, not the rigging. If you start to feather while the oar is under the water, it’ll drag down and feel like digging. Also, check your oar comes out of the water square before your feather- check your handle is down in your lap before you turn it to feather. sometimes folks turn their wrist and forget to push down on the handle
  4. Exercises to practice – square blades rowing; Delayed feather (turn the oar after you get to hands away on the recovery); Rowing straight arms (square and feathered alternate 10 strokes)

Self coach yourself by reading, watching and learning

Here are some solutions which may help you
If you’re getting stuck, make sure you are allowing part of the blade to come out square as you approach the end of the drive. If you feather as you continue to draw the oar handle towards you, you may cause the blade to feather under the water and get caught. Make the feather the beginning of the recovery, not the end of the drive.

Overall, our bodies need to lean ever so slightly to our side of the boat, our outside elbows should stay up, and we should have a very very minimal tap down that actually is a down and away motion of the hands out of the finish that gets the blade out and away from the puddle we create and want to leave behind at the finish.

From Capital Rowing Club – focus on the finish position

Week 2: Focus on the Finish Position

To get a feel for this and ideally accomplish it, we’ll be incorporating the pick drill, outside arm only rowing, pauses, and cut the cake into our practices.

From Row Science – a list of common rowing faults causes and fixes

Self-coaching using video

Seeing what you are trying to do may help as well. So here are videos to watch. You should also get a video of yourself rowing (just 3 strokes) taken from the side (90 degrees square off from you) – ask your coach to film on your cellphone so you can watch it after practice. If you choose, you can buy a video analysis from Faster Masters Rowing for a detailed assessment and personalised recommendations.

Neil Bergenroth learn to row playlist – Neil is a very experienced coach and this series of videos is great.

US Rowing also has a good video showing a lot of different pause drills



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