Use your back!

New Year Coaching

Hello again, Reader

Is it too late to say happy new year? Giving and getting feedback is crucial for good coach and athlete relationships. We all know this.

The Coach Mastermind group had a very interesting discussion – about giving crews encouragement on race day. Whether it was better to say “Go and make us proud” or to say “You’ll be amazing, go have fun and enjoy the race”. Read more below.

I observe many masters not using their backs to create power while rowing. This is an opportunity for improved boat speed. And so I did a podcast to answer the question “How much of the power is legs, back and arms?

If you are keen to work on this with your crews, compare their rowing to good technique. Here’s a video I shot of Alastair Bond (brother of the more famous….) rowing on the indoor rowing machine. I hope it helps your crews to see the leg/back/arm sequence and to be able to compare it to video of themselves rowing.

video preview

We’ve got a Coach Mastermind coming up on Tuesday 13th February. If you would like to join us, get on board and we look forward to hanging out together soon. Where we will discuss how to teach athletes to use their back in the rowing stroke.

And lastly, if you don’t write your own programs – or wish that you didn’t have to do it, we sell monthly training plans in Word Document format so you can edit them for your crews. This will save you a ton of time – and of course we will guide you through using them and ways to adjust for your group.

Best wishes


Faster Masters Rowing

Race encouragement

I consulted an expert management coach to resolve this discussion.

The “Do us proud” mindset – creates a situation in the athlete’s brain that they should be meeting someone’s expectations, external to themselves. It creates responsibility in the mind of the athlete.

This clamps down on the athlete’s ingrown potential because of the second person in their mind.

By contrast, the “You’ll be amazing” mindset gives the athlete the chance of expansiveness.

This is based on the work of Carol Dweck – Stanford University who wrote the book “Mindset”. In it she states that success comes from having the right mindset rather than intelligence, talent or education.

When you tell your athletes “You’re trained, I trust you and you will be amazing”….. as the final word it implies infinite possibility and no false boundaries or limiting beliefs.

Let’s see what you can do in your next pre race briefing.

Carol Dweck explains Developing A Growth Mindset.

Navigating the Challenges: Coaching with Confidence

You’re likely a rowing coach with a track record. You’ve coached a while, starting with youth rowers and maybe some of the older athletes.

And now you have a new challenge: coaching masters.

The thought of coaching people older than yourself is daunting. I’m not sure why – maybe some of them were YOUR coach when you were in training, maybe you have uncertainties about how hard you can push them or whether technique should adapt for older athletes.

A quick online search will show results like this image below.

It’s RUBBISH for rowing coaches.

Mis-directed advice, inappropriate for rowing and shows the ignorance of our sport from the writer. You can do better than this.

Coaching older athletes

The first thing that you need to know about coaching older athletes is that they don’t want to be “treated gently” or “wrapped in cotton wool”. An athlete is an athlete, is an athlete.

As a coach you have to understand what their ….. Read the rest of the article.

In our coach community…

What are the things which you can teach over and over to all athletes regardless of their skill level?

Faster Masters website has a forum section where we chat with other masters rowing coaches.

It’s free to join the community – you have to register (log in) onto the Faster Masters website.

Please introduce yourself (where you coach, who you work with) and share a photo of your waterway and your athletes.

They come to LTR wanting something for themselves.
Philip Petch, Cambridge RC, New Zealand

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