131124 Alex Henshilwood

Coaching Technique
Alex Henshilwood
ERRC Conference
24 November 2013
Max Heron with additionals from Nick Francis
3 elements
• Physiology
• Training
• Psychology
• Are you someone that people want to row with?
• Technique – approach in this order
• Matching-up (everyone doing the same? Find a model?)
• Length – at catch and finish
• Power – how and when applied – watch end of handle
• Explain “What – How – Why” especially why coach asks
crew to do something
• Watch the blade handle movement
• Avoid square blade rowing especially at the finish – tend to
pull down and miss some finish – see diagrams. Especially notable if do square blade
transition for warm up – boat is too slow and athletes “heave” the blade down into lap.
• Avoid stroke build up at square blades
Actually miss the finish
Ideal – path handle
follows shape of bow of
• Feather close to the water . Useful drill is arms only (and then extend)
but leave blade flat on water immediately after extraction. Do not tap down and then
return blade to river. “Skilful” hands not fast hands. Take blade out of back of puddle. Let
blade just pop out.
• “Away and down” rather than “down and away”!
• Must flow throughout
• Avoid separation of the movements
• eg avoid “hands; body; slide” with pauses. Creates
multiple speeds so slows boat – ie body cannot move as
fast as hands can, legs are different again.
• Consistent handle speed throughout
• Set the speed of recovery as early as possible
• Maintain consistent speed throughout (see above)
• Comfortable; compressed; strong position; rotation
• Check inside arm is bent (or shoulder parallel with
handle but few can manage that)
• Coach catch from the finish
• Use pictures of good crews
• Tummy on thighs rather than chest on knees
• Avoid separation
• Don’t square too late!
• Early squaring can lead to high catches. All that matters
is getting in crisply and applying power fast.