Serve Your City learn to row – Fall 2013; Washington, D.C.
Pause at arms away
Why? To promote timing at the release, and a controlled (non-rushed) motion out of the bow.
How: As the rower finishes the drive and the hands come into the body, the rower pushes the hands away smoothly and gently, stopping once the elbows are straight. The body should remain in the layback position with the legs flat and quads and glutes engaged. The rower waits in this pause position until the coxswains gives the command “Row.”
Pause at arms & body away
Why? To promote a controlled (non-rushed) movement out of the bow after the release, with a focus on the correct order of things. Use this drill to remind the rowers that the arms lead the body out of bow, which bring the body forward over the hips, before the knees come up. Pausing here helps reduce rush and poor body position coming into the catch.
How: As the rower finishes the drive and the hands come into the body, the rower pushes the hands away smoothly and gently, leading the body to rock over the hips. This gets the forward body angle set, with the legs flat and quads and glutes engaged. The rower waits in this pause position until the coxswains gives the command “Row,” then retains that body angle all the way into the next catch.
Pause at half slide
Why? To promote the concept of a gathering point for the rowers after they’ve made their way through arms away and body over. Meeting up at half slide teaches slide control and introduced the concept of relaxation on the recovery to help maintain boat set.
How: Moving out of the finish, the hands should smoothly move away from the body towards stern bringing the arms straight and allowing the body to swing over the hips. As the hands cross the knees the rower should allow boat speed to gently pull them to half slide. The rowers pause at half slide until the coxswain says “row,” at which point the rowers continue up the slide to the catch at a controlled speed, gathering again at the catch with the rest of the crew.
Why? To promote controlled, non-rushed movements and gathering points for the rowers. It is common to call a pause, for instance, at hands away and then – on the same stroke – a pause at arms and body over. This is a great way to move through the stroke sequence when coaching technique for novices and fine-tuning posture, balance and control for more advanced crews.