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    The Hammer’s Dilemma

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    Start by recognizing their strengths, but make it clear you’ll assign them to a lower boat if they do not improve their technique.

    At the same time, make sure they knows that you will help them get better. If your rower is having trouble with the recovery, have them get on the erg and sit at the layback position with their shoulders relaxed and legs flat.

    Take the handle and instruct them to let you pull them without them helping or resisting. As you pull them forward, their hands will move forward and the back will follow to the upright position. The knees will then begin to rise once the hands pass over them. As they do, the back will move into the forward body angle, and the hands will arrive over the toes and in catch position.

    If your athlete still doesn’t understand the recovery sequence, do this again and describe to them what is happening at every stage. If timing is the issue, put them in the center of the eight behind a rower with good timing and instruct the learner to watch the seat and back of the person in front of them and do what they do.

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