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    Trust Your Coach, Become Faster

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    Sculling in a single and also having a coach is a double dose of feedback. The boat responds instantly to your motions, and your coach will be refining your rhythm, power application, and bladework. You will get the most out of your individual training session if you receive coaching well. Here are tips to improve your coachability:

    * Decide to get better and stay open to suggestions. Your coach is there to guide you, give you feedback, and share expertise. 

    * Concentrate during practice. Once you set foot in the boathouse, all your attention should be on

    what is happening during training. No tweets, texts, or thinking what is for dinner–focus only on the task at hand.

    * Listen carefully to your coach’s instruction. When asked to make a change, acknowledge it, and immediately react by attempting to make a correction. Your coach will notice that you are trying.

    * Check in with your coach after practices. Communicate with each other and build on improvement step by step. Off the water, visualize the correction your coach asked you to make or row in front of a mirror so you can work on the coach’s tip. 

    * Write comments down in your logbook when they are fresh in your mind so you recall what your coach was teaching you. With a few notes, you’ll quickly review the session to get better for your next row. 

    Marlene Royle is the author of Tip of the Blade: Notes on Rowing. She is a specialist in masters training, and her coaching service, Roylerow Performance Training Programs, provides support to improve your competitive edge. For information, email Marlene at or visit

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