[Coaches: Look for drills targeting what you want to achieve. Some videos have several drills—the minutes at the beginning of a sentence indicate the position on the film clip.]
Inside Arm, Outside Arm Only and Wide Grip 0:00 Inside Arm
-Use inside arm to feather and guide the oar handle during recovery
-Square the blade before the catch and drop into the water
-Be patient during the drive, it is too heavy for inside arm to yank
1:48 Outside Arm Only (squared oar ..you cannot feather with outside arm)
This is the best drill to teach the rowers to suspend their bodyweight on the oar.
With only one arm, the rowers are in a very weak position to get the blade through the wate. They are forced to hang on the oar handle and use their body weight.
4:00 Wide Grip
“Wide grip” achieves the same effects as “outside arm” but it is easier to balance the boat.
Helps correct body position at the catch, while forcing the outside shoulder slightly higher than the inside.
Arms Only (Pick Drill)
Pay attention to having straight arms at the catch and good posture with pressure on the footboards.
This is the best exercise to start the rowing stroke sequence and warm up.
2:39 Arms and Body (Pick/Swing) – no feathering
While pivoting from the hips on the drive, keep the arms straight until the upper body reaches vertical.
Look for suspension of the body on the oar handle.
Legs Only (no feather; notice the nice pick up of the boat on the run by legs only)
This drill emphasizes:
-Coming to the catch with body fully prepared (without “diving” before the catch)
-Making the catch by raising hands only, without lifting the back
-Using only legs at the beginning of the drive
Sometimes we use “legs only” at half slide in order to get a little bit quicker catch and quicker push against the footboards.
Legs and Back (Straight Arms)
This drill is a natural extension of the legs only drill with the addition of the body swing.
The “back opens” (uncoils) itself on the end of the leg drive as long as the rower stays relaxed and hangs on the oar handle.
Legs, Legs and Back, and the Whole Stroke with Bryan Volpenhein
(Note: “outside hand” means the hand at the END of the handle. “e. n. d.” and “o.u.t.” are three-letter words so you can always remember it that way)
1:03 Feathering the blade
1:57 Squaring the blade
4:05 Sculling (feathering and squaring)
6:03 Squaring the blade
Square blades and quarter feather
This drill teaches rowers:
-To keep the correct pressure at the finish and get out of the water cleanly.
-To be more deliberate and precise at the finish, coming out and around
-It also facilitates a correct catch, because the blade isalready squared.
0:52 Quarter Feather
This drill is very popular among the coaches. Sometimesthey row the whole workout on the “Quarter Feather”, It is easier than fully square blades and it does the same job.
The purpose of this drill is to:
–Improve the finish by slowing down the feather. This allows the blade to come out square and feather later.
-Eliminate feathering with the blade still in the water
-Improve the catch because the blade is almost squared.
Placement Drills and Rusties (Good for Bladework)
This drill teaches:
-A uniform gliding motion from the finish to the catch
-How to finish the catch and the slide forward simultaneously. This way the catch is part of the recovery.
Look deliberate sequence of the hands, body, slide out ofthe bow.
This drill was named after legendary Australian Coach Rusty Robertson. Australians call it “roll up and pull”. It is a drill which covers every part of the stroke, plus it develops a feeling for moving a boat. For this reason it is a favored drill in the very last part of preparation before the big race.
At the Finish
Return to Finish
Arms, body, legs
Legs, body, arms
As you can see, the slow, heavy boat allows us to make a perfect, direct catch.
It also forces a patient drive with a very gradual acceleration of the boat, followed by an easy flow out of bow up to the pause at body over.
This direct catch, patient drive, and flow define the feeling of “moving the boat”,
Doing the pauses separately helps to work on specific details of the stroke.
A sequence of many pauses helps to put all the pieces of the rowing stroke together into one fluid, continuous motion.
0:29 Pause at the Finish
0:50 Pause at Body Over
1:38 Pause every second stroke
2:30 Pause every third stroke
3:18 Pause at Half Slide, every third
4:09 Double Pause at the Finish, and Body Over
4:48 Now Pause and Body Over Only
5:12 Double Pause at the Finish Hands Away, then BodyOver
5:48 Pause and Body Over
6:15 Pause at Half Slide
Examples of Good Rowing
0:05 Sculling (What is she doing wrong? Can you tell? How?)
1:45 Sweeping (What are they doing wrong? How can you tell?)