Question of the Day

What checks the boats run? Recently in our octo the run of the boat is checked but I don’t know how to prevent it and what to call to make it better. Thanks love this blog, so helpful! 🙂

For those that don’t know, an octuple is an eight rigged with sculling riggers so that each rower has two oars instead of one. They’re raced very infrequently in the US because they have the ability to move way too fast to be considered safe.

Check out this post – it’s definitely the most “in depth” one I’ve written in regards to check, what it is, and what drills you can do that help the crew work towards eliminating it. It’s not something you can directly prevent – the best thing you can do is explain the concept of ratio, why it’s important, etc. since it seems like the lack of ratio is your biggest contributing issue right now. As far as calls go, simple/obvious ones like control, relaxed, long, etc. that really focus on and emphasize slide control on the recovery would be good to incorporate while you’re working to figure out what the underlying technique issues are. I’d also have your coach watch from the launch to see if he/she can pinpoint any individual issues that are contributing to the boat feeling checked, as well as who specifically is rushing the slides or whatever so that you can direct some of your calls directly towards them. Talk with your coach after practice and have them go over in a bit more depth what they saw so that you can understand what you should be on the lookout for (individually and with the whole crew), in addition to having them go over some drills that you can do with the rowers either on the warmup or when you’re just sitting by yourselves that can help the rowers (either as individuals, pairs, etc.) work towards gaining a little more control on the recovery.

We had this issue earlier this season with one of my boats and we did double pause drills one day (5th paragraph in this post and #3 in this post), which seemed to help a lot. I would try incorporating that drill into your warmup (when rowing by 4s or 6s) and really emphasize slow slides coming into the catch on the last part of the recovery. Another thing is making sure the rowers have got their full body prep by the time they reach bodies over (there’s a reason why that stage of the stroke is called bodies. over.) since not having the bodies prepped can lead to them throwing their chests forward on the last inch or two of the slide to get all the length that they should have had half a stroke sooner. The “throwing forward” of the body weight also contributes a lot to the boat feeling rushed and checked, especially if you’ve got more than one person doing it.

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