Coaching Education Opportunities The IRL at Community Rowing What Works Summit: Feb 10-12 Boston, MA IRL is accepting applications for the Advanced Certificate in Rowing Leadership Program for the 2012-2013 academic year. More info: https://www.communityrowing.org/commu nity/irl/advancedcertificateprogram/ Joy of Sculling 2011 Ethan Curren Director of Coaching Education Head Coach, Junior Women Community Rowing, Inc The Art of Putting Together a Crew “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones” Herb Brooks Goal: Finding and preparing a crew to work together with maximal efficiency. Overview Part One 1. Considerations based on athlete differences in size and shape. 2. Considerations of rowing technique. 3. Selection procedures to find the right pieces. Part Two 1. Rigging. 2. Training strategies to bring crew together. 3. Traps to avoid. 1. Athletes Size and Shape Stroke Length, not height is important. All athletes must row the same length stroke or timing will be off. The boat is moving the same distance . Slippage of blade is not a desirable variable. Athlete’s Size and Shape Cont. Physical Characteristics affecting Stroke length Length of limbs. Ratio of leg bones. Ratio of Torso to Legs. Shape and thickness of trunk. Athletes size and shape… Drawings go here Athlete’s Size and Shape Cont. Beth K 5’9” and Cicely M 5’9” Athlete’s Size and Shape Cont. Athlete’s Size and Shape Cont. 2x video Rigging Rigging Adjustments Lowering feet can help with longer shins and allow greater compression. Stretcher angle can help with less flexible ankles to achieve greater compression Raising height can allow greater length of pull. Oar Length/ Use of CLAM’s Motion of the Center of Mass While Adjustments to the oar can allow a rower with shorter inboard length to match length at the blade, it is difficult for athletes to row well together when their mass is travelling too great a difference over a stroke cycle. May be an inherent inefficiency??? Can’t meet ideal ratio if they aren’t at the same ratio. Very hard for a shorter slide to follow a longer slide as the rower has to go slower. Motion of Masses Adjusting motion Length of Slide. Compromise to ideal compression More upright position w/ greater compression results in great movement of mass. Less compression and more swing leads to less movement of mass -- more efficient technique (see Fisa Coach). 2. Considerations of Rowing Skill Technical flaws that make the rower less effective Technical flaws that make the boat less effective Use of wrong muscles Set: Initiating with back (loss of leg drive) Body control Handle heights Release Blade entry Rushing the slide Speed of transition to drive Lack of body control at transitions Many many more…. Others? –Continuum Consideration of rowing skill All skills are situational Discipline (sculling vs sweep). Boat Class Rate/ Speed. Seat in Boat. Length of event (seat race). Considerations of rowing skill Importance of Transitions and drive speed. Speed of motion is trainable and therefore specific. Power = Force x Velocity (more later). All athletes need to match transition speed to be optimally effective. A slower athlete will not be able to apply force effectively – “chasing the drive.” A quicker athlete’s skills are somewhat wasted in a crew of slower athletes (especially larger, slower athletes). What’s at Stake? What’s at Stake? 5 K splits 1 stroke newtons Stroke 2:03.4 118 3 seat 2:00.5 154 2 seat 2:05.3 106 Bow 1:59.7 94 Timing is key Late to get on it= Chasing the drive Never can make up for it Look at the difference Newtons Newtons 5k pace Beth 110 109 2:04.6 Rachel 118 97 1:59.5 Zoe 121 97 202.1 Drive Speed and Rate One clear example of this principle is rowers who are more or less comfortable at higher stroke rates. This will affect how I do: Selection and seat racing! Training Drills Rowing Skill cont. A single less skilled athlete has a greater negative effect on a crew than one more skilled rower can have on a less skilled group. Mistakes make all others less effective. Added skills may have some positive long term effect (blade work example), but can do little to help overall boat speed. Putting a skilled rower with less skilled athletes may lead to bad habits. Risk of injury (left alone on drive). Selection Foundation is Evaluation Power/Fitness Ability to apply on the water (Technique) Ability to row with others Selection Establish Timelines How much time to allow for athlete development and skill acquisition. How long will selection procedures take? How much time to allow crew to come together. Can you use early season racing? Control your message about what lineups mean. Selection My Strategy: Identify prime movers, allow them to establish dominant rhythm. Select for best complements. Know your most important goal. YNC 4 x 2k over 3 days. Club Nationals 10 x 2k over 5 days. Top boat or fast crews? What are team goals? Selection My Model Erg Evaluations Seat Racing Time Trials Selection Erg Evaluations Erg Opportunities: earn you a seat race. Not just 2k’s Power profile. Know their relative strengths over a range of distances. Repeat sets (4 x 1250). How do they respond to multiple pieces. Fitness is distinct from power. Power = force x velocity (erg doesn’t tell you how) Rate Length Must use Weight Adjustment or factor Magic Number (watts/KG^(2/3)) Selection Seat Racing Limitations Boat class factors. Seat racing in smaller boats Favors specific skills Favors specific (slower) drive speed. Seat racing in big boats Chaos. Crews will perform to lowest common denominator of skill (how deep is your team technically). Seat Racing Limitations cont. Format Factors Distance and repetitions will favor certain fitness profile of athletes. Stroke rate. Coxed? Seat Racing Limitations cont. Inherent limitations Favor athletes who adjust quickly. Favors specific combinations/ comfort level. How does proximity effect performance? Know your athletes! Cox’ns effect. Selection Seat Racing Strategies Variable Stroke rate (40-30-20-10). Variable format. Seat race strong but less fit athletes later in set. Control boat. Three or more crews. Watch for patterns Control pieces (first couple w/ no switches evaluate variability). Never final selection – and they know it! Time Trials and Line Up Evaluations Abilities are situational. I am selecting for seats. Athletes perform very differently in specific seats. Skill seats: Seven seat– follow by feel, sound; steady. Bow pair – Finishes, balance. Six seat – rush, catch support. “Chemistry” 4 piece format. Evaluate using practices pieces (every day is a seat race). Evaluate using early races. Traps Selecting too early Less skilled rowers with more talent may improve forcing dilemma of late season switch. Time together favors selection. Motivation? But… Selecting too late Crew isn’t left with time to come together. Time to establish boat goals, values, behaviors. Joy of Sculling 2011 Ethan Curren Director of Coaching Education Head Coach, Junior Women Community Rowing, Inc Rigging Rigging Adjustments Feet and Seat Lowering feet or adding butt pad will help athletes with longer shins to allow greater compression. Raising feet may shorten stroke, but allow for more power from legs. Stretcher angle can help with less flexible ankles to achieve greater compression Rigging Raising height can allow greater length of pull. Oar Length/ Use of CLAM’s Adjusting leverage can help compensate for length differences. Often rowers with shorter strokes also have more muscle mass and can handle a bigger load. If they don’t, be careful about loading. Longer limbed rowers are already dealing with a relative mechanical disadvantage (shorter limbs work better in weight room). Motion of the Center of Mass While Adjustments to the oar can allow a rower with shorter inboard length to match length at the blade, it is difficult for athletes to row well together when their mass is travelling too great a difference over a stroke cycle. May be an inherent inefficiency??? Can’t meet ideal ratio if they aren’t at the same ratio. Very hard for a shorter slide to follow a longer slide as the rower has to go slower. Training them to come together Define your Style Make sure they know it. Attention (don’t distract). Intention (Athlete should understand goal and why). Motion of Masses Adjusting motion Length of Slide. Compromise to ideal compression More upright position w/ greater compression results in great movement of mass. Less compression and more swing leads to less movement of mass -- more efficient technique (see Fisa Coach). Training them to come together Establish a uniform recovery first Organizing point of the stroke Finish Pause? Bodies over? Set up and speed into the catch will determine drive. Training them to come together Direct attention to body spacing Distance of head, shoulders. If bodies move together, catch and finish timing can be established quickly. If blade timing is established first, it can take a long time (if ever) to change rhythm. Training them to come together On water drills. Pause Drill – define a gathering point beware timing to pause position be aware of body proportions. Longer arms take longer to extend. Longer torso’s take longer to bodies over Are you allowing athletes to compensate for differences? pause to oar angles? Drills Teach rowers to be adaptable and they will be better at making adjustments Ratio Drill 15 strokes each at ratio 5:1, 4:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1 all at 75% pressure. Short strokes. Pick drill full boat. 1/2 and 3/4 slide Drills Speed work. Hones handle quickness. Builders Starts Drills Train them to sense the timing Auditory Clues Tap Drill. Tap handle on gunnels at perpendicular. Slap. Flat blade strikes the water at the catch. Boat feel Pulse drill. Half crew at pressure others paddling and feeling then join in support. Training them to come together Erg Excercises Sliders. Erg together, watch handle speed. Tape handles. Match pairs facing. Look through more experienced athlete in mirror (Bill Manning). Taped handles Training them to come together Long Term Strategies Pairings. Small boat partners Seat race pairs. Core groups. “Core four” Race in smaller boats. (Winning pair history) Manipulate ergs in winter. Develop expertise! Allows rower to be effective in more situations so you can put your best athletes in the boat. Small boats. Switch Sides. Sculling. Quickness. Traps Rowers who look pretty What are you looking at? Do you know you tendencies? Easier to see posture than blade work, particularly in the water. Does it really matter? Traps Rowers who can’t sustain technique How do they hold up under fatigue? How do they hold up on race day? How do they respond to conditions? Traps The Rower who you just can’t wait until she gets it Will she ever? How does having her in the boat affect the quality of practice? How does it effect morale? How does it effect the rower who’s out? What message does it send? Traps The rower who just wants to make the boat. Your own foibles: “I can fix her!” reward performance, not potential. Need for control: let athletes take ownership, don’t tinker too much as the competition approaches (unless you need to). Traps Technique Timing the feather, not the release. Drills that don’t allow for athletes to adjust to each other (careful when you use them).