One of the most important things you can have during a race is a plan. Things might not necessarily go according to that plan, but at least you’ll have one. Creating race plans aren’t nearly as difficult as they sound and for races like Head of the Charles where you’ve got multiple landmarks to work off of, it’s relatively simple.
The first third of the race should focus on technique, the second third split between technique and motivation, and the last third all on motivating your rowers to pour everything they’ve got left into the last mile around around Eliot.
Pick out 3-5 landmarks throughout the course to do Power 5s, 10s, 20s, etc. at. and decide what those bursts will be for/what their purpose is.
Determine 2-3 spots that you’ll use specifically for “making a move”.
Develop a list of “special calls”, i.e. calls that resonate specifically with your crew.
Have a list of “stock calls” to use in between your bursts and special calls. These are your regular every day calls that shouldn’t take any effort to come up with.
Know your rower’s tendencies and what they want/need to hear so you can develop calls based around that.
Prior to racing, have a map of the course on hand so you can look at it and determine the best spots to do your bursts. Practice your plan when you go out before the race and make sure you share the plan with your rowers. On the way up tell them what the plan is, where you plan on executing your moves, and what your goals are.
Next up: My Head of the Charles race plan