Top 20 Terms Coxswains Should Know: Shooting the Slide

Previously: Rush(ing) || Body angle || Pick drill || Suspension || Skying the blade || Quarter feather || Pin || Run || Lunge || Washing Out || Missing water || Footboard || Check || Ratio || Over compression || Release || Cut the cake || Hanging the blade

What part of the stroke/stroke cycle does it refer to

The drive.

What does it mean/refer to

Shooting the slide refers to what happens when you drive your legs without actually moving the boat. The lack of coordination between the legs and the body results in the trunk collapsing during the drive and the seat moving towards bow faster than (and without) the handle.

Relevant calls

One of the main calls I make here is to remind the rowers to sit up at the catch, keep the chests tall, low backs flat, cores engaged, etc. because if you’re finishing the recovery in an overextended position (aka lunging) then you’re most definitely going to shoot your slide when the drive begins.

To get the rowers to move the legs and handle together I’ll say “push with the legs as you hang off the handle, then add the bodies and draw through to complete the stroke” or something to that effect. It’s less about monosyllabic calls here and more about bringing the coaching from the launch into the boat (which means you need to be very in tune not just with what’s going on in the boat but with what your coach is saying in response to what he’s seeing, that way you can incorporate the same words, feedback, etc. in your calls).

What to look for

If you can feel the boat getting checked on the drive (which you always can), someone or several someones are shooting their slides. You shouldn’t be feeling any sort of strong pushback in your direction at the catch – rather it should be a smooth turnaround as the slide changes direction – so if you can see/feel the boat moving back towards you then you’ll want to remind the crew to bring the handle with them as they start the drive rather than limiting their power output by relying on the upper body to do all the work.

This video shows what shooting the slide looks like from a side-perspective. If you see someone doing this on the erg you should work with them to correct it, preferably beside a mirror if you have some in your boathouse. This is one of the habits that is picked up the fastest and takes the longest to break so you want to prevent it from becoming muscle memory sooner rather than later. (If it doesn’t start there already, skip ahead to 5:40.)

Effect(s) on the boat

Shooting the slide creates a backwards push against the foot stretchers that creates check and limits the run of the boat.

Related posts/questions

My coach always emphasizes a quicker leg drive. I can get them down fine without it being a problem but sometimes I try to go quicker than normal on the leg drive and it doesn’t seem AS powerful. Why? Is this cause Im not getting enough pressure behind the blade? Is there anyway to improve on this?

How to fix shooting the slide with an RP3

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