VIP Day Focus On Boat Skills


Time to step up to the next level of rowing and sculling skill?

Join this webinar led by Troy Howell as he examines how some of the well-intentioned things your coach told  you when you were beginning rowing can actually slow your development into capable, confident boat-movers. 

Which of these have you heard around your club or during your own experience learning to row or scull? 

  • “You’re not ready to row all eight yet.” 
  • “These boats are really tippy.” 
  • “Once you’re in the boat, never let go of your oar handle(s).”
  • “Technique makes up seats; fitness makes up lengths.” 

These seemingly innocent bits of advice that we received as beginners have the potential to haunt us indefinitely.

You will learn

Troy will explore a number of these beginner truisms as well as their unintended consequences, how best to overcome them, and what to say/do instead.   

His watchword is “comfort in the boat”, which itself is grounded in the belief that training the nervous system is of equal importance with training the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.  This assumes even greater relative importance as we move further along the Masters timeline. 

  • 5 key drills to acquire comfort in the boat
  • Test yourself against our skills checklist. Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced in boat skills?
  • Use the same checklist to find out what you need to learn next (and get your coach to teach you)
  • If you are shaky in small boats this webinar is for you
  • If you teach athletes who are novices or within their first 3-5 years rowing, this webinar is for you

This webinar will provide all rowers and coaches with food for thought (and if it does not, you’re free to get up and get a beer or a cup of tea and pay only selective attention to the grumpy contrarian telling you that everything you were told as a beginner was wrong). 

After doing this course, you will feel like this!

For coaches

As coaches, we know how much we have to simplify our message for beginners. What we say has to be straightforward and is only a tiny fraction of the “full technique” story we could be explaining.

This can backfire. Because athletes hold onto those beginner details about how to row and take them as orthodoxy. Frequently these need to be updated and refined, but that doesn’t happen. Which leaves the athlete with some wrong-headed notions.

The questions intermediate athletes ask show that they want a black and white answer…. this reveals a lot. You will have had athletes ask you “When do you square the blade?”. What’s important is the blade is prepared before it enters the water. And so the answer is not necessarily always the same – when you rate 19 and when you rate 34 squaring times are different.

Here’s another question “Do you want fast or slow hands?” Troy explains that the hands need to be appropriate to the speed of the boat. And so yet again, the answer is “it depends….”.

Ernest Hemingway famously said that a writer’s greatest asset is ‘a built-in, shock-proof bullshit detector.’ This presentation will put some of the things that coaches often tell beginning scullers and rowers to that test. Are they “true” or is there a deeper insight?

Troy got started on this topic after talking to a gymnastics coach.

He told me that by watching any gymnast do a handstand, he could tell if they were a beginner, intermediate or advanced. And I thought, what’s the equivalent for rowing?
Then I realised!
That started his discovery and research into what it is that takes a rower from intermediate up into advanced levels of our sport.

Recorded Webinar – watch straight away.

PLUS you also get these bonus lessons

  1. Achieving Ease and Comfort in the Boat a 20 page book by Troy Howell
  2. Interview with Troy from RowingChat
  3. 3 skills checklists for you to test yourself
  4. Two mini videos which will make you smile