Question of the Day

What are stationary drills? How can there be drills if the rowers aren’t rowing? What are some examples?

Stationary drills are just drills that are done when the boat isn’t moving. They’re good to do if/when you’re waiting for your coach at the beginning of practice or just have time to spare in general.

Catch placement drills (also known as roll ups) are one of the most well-known and basic stationary drills. (I talked about them a bit more in-depth in the fourth paragraph of this post.) The rowers start at the finish with their blades buried then tap down, come up the slide to the catch, and drop their blades in without actually taking a stroke. The purpose is to match up the timing on the slides, when the blades enter the water, and the motion of taking the catch. Here’s an example of what it looks like.


Another common one is bob drills. These can get pretty frustrating the more people you have doing it but they’re good for getting people to think about having level hands at the catch and maintaining pressure with the oar against the collar (the thing that keeps the oar shaft from sliding through the oarlock), in addition to the obvious focus on timing.

Related: Reverse pick drill progression + what “bob drills” look like

You can either do these at the catch or finish too. All you do is sit at full compression at the catch or in your normal finish position, starting with the blades squared and buried, and tap them in and out of the water. The bobs have to be confident and deliberate otherwise the boat will just crash over to one side. If you follow the movements of the people in front of you instead of anticipating them then that will also mess things up.

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2 thoughts on “Question of the Day

  1. Jake says:

    Another good one is to start at the finish, blades buried, then tap down and away with the feather. When done correctly, the entire boat stays balanced for a couple of seconds until the boat falls to one side. It is very satisfying and works on finish timing and level hands.

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