We all want to become our best rowing-self, why else do we go out in all weathers to do a sport which is so mentally and physically demanding? Some of us picture ourselves as the next Steve Redgrave and others are happy to watch the world go by in the boat. But we all know what it's like to be in a boat that isn't settled or when things aren't clicking with your own rowing.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your rowing today...
1. Relax - no boat ever felt good with a tense crew. If your goal is to go fast then you wont be comfortable doing this with white knuckles, relax and be smooth.
2. Break down the stroke - focus on one element at a time and perfect that. Go through the steps of the stroke, when are you pivoting, what are your feet doing, are you tapping down before feather etc
3. Listen - your crew will often give you feedback in the boat if things aren't ok but if you're learning then ask someone to keep an eye on you and give advice. Likewise, speak to the Cox before for two things to focus on and ask for feedback along the outing, check in at the end on what else needs to be improved. Leave your bravado in the boathouse!
4. Put the work in - receive constructive feedback positively, if its spotted that you struggle with your pivot forward due to tight hamstrings then begin a daily stretching routine, your back will thank you for it in time. If your fitness lacks then speak with the club coach about a training plan and some targets. If it is technical then focus on that. No one ever got better without being humble and willing to learn.
5. Enjoy it - Not every outing has to be a GB trial pace, rowing is a sport, but it is also recreational, relaxing and helps to escape the day to day, the mental health benefits are just as important as the physical, be social, be happy and be smug that soon those spring days will be here.