BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY ED MORAN
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Because of limited time on the water in winter, many use the ergs to prepare for spring practices, not just tests. Erg scores are great for goal-setting during the winter months, of course, but we can rely on the machine also to teach younger rowers proper technique and to allow them to develop confidence in their abilities. This includes learning how to go hard.
Adolescent athletes often do not have a good understanding of their physical limits, and seeing improvement on the erg is a great motivator for getting them to work harder. The erg also gives coaches a tool for teaching technique indoors; they can both show and tell their athletes how to perform a particular aspect of the stroke.
Teaching drills that will be used during the season can also be taught on the erg. This provides continuity and saves precious time on the water that would otherwise be used to explain the drill. Connecting the machines with Concept2 slides will help your rowers feel the stroke and work together.
Whatever you do on the erg this winter, always stress proper technique. Your rowers are creating muscle memory during their time away from the water. It has to be right.