Corrective Action

By Rich Davis

Photo by Luke Reynolds.

There are several technique faults, such as lunging at the catch and lifting the shoulders, that can be bedeviling for coaches and athletes. Many rowers don’t feel the movement of their shoulders; they need to see what they are doing. Videoing them once a week will help advance their understanding of the movement they need to perform. Start by shooting the blades on one side and then the other. Position your boat just outside the line of puddles and fill the screen with the four blades. Move to record each person for at least 10 strokes. Have both the athlete and the oar in the picture so you can review how the blade is working as a result of the body’s movements. Zoom in tightly on the body to capture technical flaws such as lunging, late body angle prep, and lifting of the shoulders. Capturing footage from directly behind the boat will show you how well the bodies are over the keel and whether your athletes are rowing with excessive or inadequate reach. You can also help the coxswain see his or her steering by dropping behind the boat and showing the wake pattern and the boat’s course relative to the coxswain’s line. You may want a shot from the side of the boat showing the whole crew to show rhythm and timing. Include the coxswain in these shots to evaluate posture and how well they move with the boat itself.