Question of the Day

What analogies do you use for different aspects of technique? Am looking for some inspiration for my novices!

I probably have a lot more than this but I tend to come up with them on the fly (literally, you have no idea – half the time even I don’t know how I come up with them) and forget them the second I step foot back on land. Hopefully these ones help you out though.

Handle heights

Think of your handle heights as a strike zone. The strike zone for baseball players is from their shoulders to their knees. Rowers also have a strike zone, but it’s much smaller, typically from the middle of your ribcage (think where your bra line is if you’re a girl) to your belly button. Any higher is too high and you’re going to be digging the blades in and any lower is too low and you won’t have any room to tap down and release the blade.

Ratio

You want to go slow up the slide and fast through the water but if you’re rushing the slide you’re wasting a lot of energy instead of using the recovery to actually recover. Not only does that slow the boat down but you’ll be working against very little resistance – “10” on a bike, which is when you’re basically just spinning the wheels. Controlled slides are more like a 4 or so – the more controlled you are on the recovery/the slower you move up the slide, the more resistance there is, the less energy you’ll be wasting, and the easier it’ll be to move the boat. (That’s not to say that you want to be at a “1” though…rowing with that kind of resistance is like trying to move through cold pancake syrup. Comparatively, a “10” is hot syrup.)

Another one is that bad ratio is like stop and go traffic. You’re basically speeding up just to slam the brakes on, which wastes gas. Flying up the slide = speeding up in the car and going slow on the drive = slamming the brakes.

Related: There’s a lot of like, I don’t know how to describe this really, lurching in the boat? Because I think the girls slide forward to fast and that makes us go back instead of forward if that makes sense. how would you correct this? Thanks!

Making adjustments

If you strike out or don’t get a first down, you have to go wait an entire inning or until the other team turns the ball over to have a chance to do something different and either hit the ball or get the first down to advance down the field. With rowing, you repeat the same motion every 2-3 seconds, mean you can do something different every 2-3 seconds vs. every 15-20 minutes. Instead of having your defense out on the field the whole game, do something different to stop the opposing offense. Do something different with the timing, handle heights, stroke rate, ratio, etc. on every stroke if something isn’t working for you or the crew. There’s no point getting frustrated over something when you’ve got the power to change it on every stroke.
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