Oarsmen versus Rowers

What is the difference between an oarsman and a rower?

Aside from definitions of nouns, most of us in the sport intrinsically know that there is a difference.  Marlene and Rebecca try to pin down a definition using examples.

Anyone who is experienced will have an opinion on this topic.  But what is the true definition of an oarsman or oarswoman?

Your rowing philosophy is the key

oarsman, Rockwell Kent Artist

Rockwell Kent lithograph of an oarsman

An oarsman is someone for whom rowing is a way of life, it’s their philosophy and their outlook on the world.  It is more than just part of your identity  Being an oarsman explains how you look at the culture and etiquette of rowing.

This gives insights into how individuals approach their participation in the sport.

Rowers are those who come and train at practice, and they train hard and race hard,  But when they leave the boathouse, rowing isn’t on their mind and isn’t part of their life until they come back to row again.

Living the philosophy of being an oarsman

What do you do?  How is your attitude framing your participation in the sport of rowing?

When races are cancelled – as now –  you can tell who are the oarsman and who are the rowers. The differences are clear. Oarsmen take this in their stride. They are okay waiting for the next regatta. This is what we do – we’d prefer to be racing now, but it isn’t possible.  But fundamentally it doesn’t change our life-view.

The athletes who are stressing about missing opportunities due to lockdown and feel a lack of goal and lack of focused objectives. Their attention could be shifted towards thinking about the “greater being of rowing” at this time. Oarsmen aren’t going to give up this part of life just because a hiccup happens.

This is what you love doing; what you do every day and so we continue to enjoy the sport.

So when you are out with your crew – ask them what they think.  Can you find us some examples?

Marlene explains her reasoning