Question of the Day

Clear something up for me about the relative importance of stroke vs. 7 in an eight? My coach today inferred that because I’d rowed stroke most of last season 7 should be easy because it doesn’t have the same responsibility, it’s just following. I always thought stern pair were equally important as 7 “strokes” bowside. Am I wrong?

I think I understand what your coach is saying, although I don’t think he phrased it right. I’ve always been taught that stroke and 7 are equally important despite the difference in responsibilities because your stroke sets the rhythm but 7 is the one who relays it to the rest of the boat. It’s not “just” following – if 7’s timing is off, the other six rowers will probably be off too. That’s why you usually want your most consistent rowers up front.

Related: Hey, as a coach you might be able to tell me, in a quad how do you decide who goes where? And the same for an eight? Where you’re placed in the boat, should this tell you anything about where you “sit” compared to the rest of the crew?

Assuming you can row both sides you’d probably do fine at 7 since your experience at setting and maintaining a rhythm in stroke seat would (theoretically) make it easier to translate the new stroke’s rhythm back to bow six.

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