Getting Reacquainted

Getting Reacquainted

Post by Stev » Tue, 19 Feb 2013 01:29:39


Hello All,

Actually, hello to all you experienced scullers and especially those sage
exponents of the single scull.

Within the next few weeks I intend to jump back into a single (fine boat)
for the first time in around .... well, let's just say it's been many years
and leave it at that! :)

It's a bit of a personal challenge to me, so I would really appreciate any
words of wisdom from those out there that have spent many an hour refining
their art that might help me reacquaint myself with the delights and demands
of the single.

I know there are plenty of text books out there that will no doubt offer
various exercises etc, but what I'm seeking is something perhaps more
personally arrived at that might assist me with my first hour back in a
single.

--

Regards

Steve

 
 
 

Getting Reacquainted

Post by gdarrah99...gmai » Tue, 19 Feb 2013 04:25:30

Hi Steve, I'm not sure what your objectives are (recreational, racing, etc...), and I'm sure lots of folks here can weigh in with many different opinions.  But keep it simple, and don't try to get everything right all at once.  Get comfortable being in the boat again and get a little coaching if you can.

As I was transitioning from sweep rowing to sculling, the best advice I received (from Ken Dreyfuss about 20 years ago) was to "spend a year learning to row again, and then work on getting fast".  Ken is a smart guy and set me off on a course to happy sculling ever since then.

Greg

 
 
 

Getting Reacquainted

Post by Charles Carrol » Tue, 19 Feb 2013 05:03:30

Quote:
> Within the next few weeks I intend to jump back into a single (fine boat)
> It's a bit of a personal challenge to me, so I would really appreciate any
> words of wisdom from those out there that have spent many an hour refining
> their art that might help me reacquaint myself with the delights and
> demands of the single.

> I know there are plenty of text books out there that will no doubt offer
> various exercises etc, but what I'm seeking is something perhaps more
> personally arrived at that might assist me with my first hour back in a
> single.

Steve

I have only been sculling for nine years, so I am not sure I qualify. There
are scullers in my Club, younger than I, who have been refining the art for
almost 50 years. You can be assured that they have much more to say about
the art of sculling than I. But I will give it a try and tell you what is
working for me.

First is attitude. When someone tells you that something is hard, or
impossible, and that only the most gifted athletes are capable of doing it,
dont say anything. Dont argue. Just smile quietly. But in the back of your
mind remind yourself that sculling is not impossible, that in fact it is
easy and something which should be enjoyed. And that is the Attitude you
want to take with you when you go out on the water.

Second is the checklist. And I have never known a sculler who doesnt have a
checklist that is, a carefully prepared, itemized inventory of
choreographed movements which they keep in the back of their minds when they
are on the water and which they believe when followed precisely will result
in the ideal stroke. What you need to remember is Ecclesiastes that To
everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
I respectfully submit that when you are on the water is not the time to tick
off boxes on your checklist. At my Club we have a coach who is fond of
saying, Leave your checklist at the dock. To my ears it is sage advice.

Third is watch films. Watch films of scullers that you think are excellent
and visualize these films when you are on the water. In your imagination
superimpose yourself over these scullers. Remember when you were a child.
Children are the most imitative creatures on earth. It is how they learn. So
try to become a child again. Try to imagine yourself as the sculler in the
video you had just watched before going out on the water. Eventually, as you
become more confident, you will become a better sculler. You may never scull
like the sculler you have been visualizing. Indeed, it is more likely that
you will develop a style of your own. But the point is you will become
confident of your abilities, and with confidence sculling will become more
enjoyable and you will become better sculler. Just remember that there are
many ways to move a boat and your job is to find a way that fits you.

I could go on, but I am afraid I have already become tedious

Good luck,

Charles

Ps. Yesterday I was watching a video of Frans Gobel at the 1990 World Rowing
Championships.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PV7dgkfnkI

What an athlete! Frans incarnates excellence. Beautiful shell, too! You
might want to take a look at the video. It might be a place to start

 
 
 

Getting Reacquainted

Post by James H » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 01:57:22

Quote:

> Hello All,

> Actually, hello to all you experienced scullers and especially those sage

> exponents of the single scull.

> Within the next few weeks I intend to jump back into a single (fine boat)

> for the first time in around .... well, let's just say it's been many years

> and leave it at that! :)

> It's a bit of a personal challenge to me, so I would really appreciate any

> words of wisdom from those out there that have spent many an hour refining

> their art that might help me reacquaint myself with the delights and demands

> of the single.

> I know there are plenty of text books out there that will no doubt offer

> various exercises etc, but what I'm seeking is something perhaps more

> personally arrived at that might assist me with my first hour back in a

> single.

> --

> Regards

> Steve

Steve,

How exciting!

From previous conversations you are getting back into the boat having had earlier experience - and presumably trust that you have re-mastered much of the body movement to feel confident on the water.

If you are going in where I think you are, then ideally pick a low-ish tide condition so that our lovely mother Thames can treat you with some care, and that you can put your feet on gravel river bed when you are getting in and out!

That will have sorted out the nerves and anxieties about getting in and out (apart from the steep ramp!)

Once on the water your old habits should still be there - nothing should encourage you to let go of the blades, and if you never let go of the blades it is unlikely anything untowards will happen.

So having guessed that all that aspect is ok, I can only say that your first hour should be spent pottering about.

It may seem basic, but I would start you with dips - lifting the left and the right hand alternatively - to remind you how supremely good you are at making sure the boat stays where it should be.

Before you head off, I would practice some confident maneuvering. the river is in a strong state of flow at the moment, and it is important to know how to spin and control your spin without panic. So I would practice having one blade (your left/bow/green side) in Square, and tap round with the right/stroke/red blade.

if you are facing into the stream you will feel your bows immediately pull you round and if you carry on tapping with the right then you will swing in a large arc into the river. With a good lookout do this exercise.

Then mix it up a bit and spin again, but this time alternatively rowing on with the right hand and backing down with the left. (I call this fork and spoon, not sure why!) but you will turn in a much smaller, tighter circle.

The last thing I would practice then is emergency stopping. First if you are moving slowly by feathering the blades into the water at with your arms in the safety position. And then if you are going to get faster you should learn an emergency stop by reverse feathering the blades into the water to bring you to a sudden stop.

Once you have all these in place, discuss with your lookout what language they are going to use to let you know where they want you and you are off!

The single most useful exercise I find - for all sorts of things - is a roll up. Backstops flat on the water, tap down, hands away, rock over, draw the boat to you up the slide, calm at the catch and slap the blades on the water.

Once this works a few times I would refine the slap to a place. Once that works I would go square to square - i.e.in and square backstops, out, feather, thorough the movements, square early and place the blade in.

i think this is really useful to check that you are confdently getting the blades off the water, and that you are comfy at front-stops.

Once you are taking larger strides I think the KEY KEY KEY thing is to do as Carl says - do as little to slow the boat down as possible.

If you are going to row up to PTRC give me a should and I will come out for an outing!

James

 
 
 

Getting Reacquainted

Post by wmart.. » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 07:12:10

Quote:

> Hello All,
> Actually, hello to all you experienced scullers and especially those sage
> exponents of the single scull.

> Within the next few weeks I intend to jump back into a single (fine boat)
> for the first time in around .... well, let's just say it's been many years
> and leave it at that! :)

> It's a bit of a personal challenge to me, so I would really appreciate any
> words of wisdom from those out there that have spent many an hour refining
> their art that might help me reacquaint myself with the delights and demands
> of the single.

> I know there are plenty of text books out there that will no doubt offer
> various exercises etc, but what I'm seeking is something perhaps more
> personally arrived at that might assist me with my first hour back in a
> single.

> Regards
> Steve

Hi Steve,
I'm not an "exponent" of the single but I've been coaching for a wee while.  
Start back slowly.  Make sure you have a comfortable grip when squared and only row as long a stroke as you feel comfortable.
Start with a short outing, add a bit every time until you've reached a goal time (say 90 min?).  

Blades go in the water before you start to push - just before - and then you ride the boat to the next stroke (there's about 3 tonnes of more detail but I'm not going to get into it).
For starters, until you've got your balance and an even stroke sorted out, push only as hard as your bladework allows (i.e., for the first while, don't push hard)...

Add a little each week.
There are a lot of weeks, so there's no hurry.

You're going sculling for you, so enjoy it.
Cheers,
Walter