Music to erg to, pt. 66

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving (or just a great Thursday if you didn’t partake in the gluttonous festivities). Regardless of whether you’re getting some steady state in to help work off yesterday’s big meal or you’re getting up obnoxiously early to do some Black Friday shopping, this playlist should definitely help get you moving. Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day

I am a senior in high school and have only been rowing for about 8 months. I was wondering if I should fill out the recruiting questionnaires if I plan on walking on to a rowing team next year.

I wouldn’t. You haven’t been rowing for that long and unless your erg times are holy-shit-unbelievable then there’s not much to be gained from it. If you’re planning on walking on then just wait until you get to campus and find out when the walk-on meeting is or email the coach some time during the spring/summer and say that you’re an incoming freshman, you’ve rowed for a year, and are interested in walking on, can they give you some details about the program, etc.

Question of the Day

What is your opinion on weight-adjusted erg scores? I’m about 105lbs and 5’1″ so due to obvious height disadvantages, my erg scores are a bit higher than other lightweights on my team. There is an older girl on my team who is older and a “worse” erg score but she has the seat in the ltwt 8+. Would you suggest switching to coxing? I asked my coach about it at the end of the fall season since our team is going to be short on coxswains at the end of the year but she was trying to avoid the topic. Any suggestions?

I’ve never really done much stuff with weight-adjusted scores before this year so I’m largely unfamiliar with the “science” but from the limited knowledge/understanding that I do have, I think they can be useful but really only for determining who gets a shot to be in a boat, not who actually gets in the boat. I think most people agree that on-the-water performance is the more important variable though. I’ve also heard that the heavier/lighter you are the less accurate it is so if that’s true it’s probably not doing you many favors since you’re only 105.

Weight-adjusted scores aside, I’d probably at least suggest looking into coxing. You’re pretty small and it’s no secret that it’s tougher to be a successful rower the smaller you are. I really don’t ever understand why coaches make this so awkward and try to avoid the subject when it gets brought up but if it’s something you’re interested in and you know you’re going to need coxswains anyways, I’d probably bring it up again at some point (although not repeatedly…) and just be very point-blank about it. The more beating-around-the-bush you do the more opportunity you’re giving your coaches to avoid the conversation (I’ve been on both sides of that so … trust me on this).

Question of the Day

Hi! I’ve been rowing for four years and recently I’ve been getting some sort of tendonitis in my forearms: the forearm swells up a little and it feels very stiff and it is very painful to row with. This usually happens when I’m in a single or a double, but it has happened before in an eight and a quad. It has never happened to me so often, last year I got this twice throughout the season, but it went away the same day. I’ve talked to my coach and he said I might be gripping too much with my fingers, I’ve changed my grip since then and it was fine for a few weeks, however over the course of this week, it has come back and I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. I know it’s caused when I row long distances and when my forearms tense at the catch, but I don’t think that there is any other way to row (without tensing the forearms at the catch), when I relax my arms I end up pulling more with my fingers. As far as I’m aware, no one else in my crew has this although some say that they have had it before, but very rarely. I was just wondering if you had any tips for correcting my stroke if it is what is causing this? Thank you.

I definitely agree with your coach, I think you’ve got a bit of a death grip thing going on. If you made adjustments though and the pain came back then I’d probably recommend checking in with your doctor just to make sure there’s nothing else going on. At the very least they’ll likely be able to give you a stronger anti-inflammatory than your standard over-the-counter Ibuprofen that might help with the pain.

As far as tips for correcting your stroke, I really think loosening your grip is the biggest/best technical correction you can make right now. It’s a sequential thing too; if your upper body (i.e. upper back and shoulders) is relaxed, your arms will be relaxed, and that will lead to you having a more relaxed grip. If your upper body is tense, which it sounds like it probably is, then your forearms and grip are going to be tense as a result. When you’re at the catch, you want to maintain what I like to call a “common sense grip” – not too tight but tight enough that you have control of the handle – and make sure you’re unweighting the handle rather than lifting it in. If you’re lifting it in then that’s going to contribute to the tension you feel in your forearms. Tension’s not really the right word but if you’re going to feel “tension” anywhere it should be in your lat muscles as you lock on to the water.

From there it gets a bit harder for me to guess what you can do so definitely make sure you’re discussing this with your coach, having them watch you on the water, look for specific technical flaws, etc. and then go from there. Start with the grip thing though, for sure.


Video of the Week: Scullers hack

This video is just Gevvie Stone doing a “racing shell 101” with her boat but the reason I’m posting it is because her hack of screwing a water bottle holder to the vent cap is kinda genius. Obviously you can’t do something like that in an eight or a shell you don’t own yourself but if you do happen to own your own boat, how great of an idea is that?