By Rich Davis

Summer Sessions

Lately I’ve noticed a man on roller blades skating by our house, clearly biding his time until the rink opens up again. Your rowers, too, can get themselves ready for their return to the water in the fall. They might go to camps in the summer. Or if they want a break from rowing, they can run, hit the gym, swim, or take part in any other kind of aerobic exercise to maintain their fitness. Coaches should also make sure they maintain contact with their athletes. With the spring season as a benchmark, the summer provides coaches with a great opportunity to measure their athletes’ progress. I used to have my rowers fill out a questionnaire about their rowing abilities and habits. I read their responses and we discussed them individually. This gave me a good sense of what they thought they were doing well and what needed improvement. (I was surprised that a few underrated their abilities.) In turn, the athletes also provided feedback on my coaching. The individual technique and preparation evaluation should be rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. You can ask your rowers to rate how well they control the slide, prepare for the catch, rotate out at the catch, or apply pressure with the legs, or any other manner of technical questions. It’s also worthwhile to evaluate other aspects of training that affect performance, such as diet, flexibility, strength, and teamwork.