Why was this sent to me? Well one of the coaches at the Victorian Institute of Sport came across it on the row2k site. The Pocock style is a term for a certain way of rowing and I guess someone has drawn similarities to the way I row. Quiet funny real and how silly have I been to think I was original. All jokes aside it is interesting to consider that rowing has been around for so many years that much of the different styles and methods would have been tried before.
When I finish school in 1992 it was the Oarsome Foursome who influenced the way I wanted to row. I know they all had their influences and those who influenced them would have had theirs too. The threads of influence of former styles often have life cycles. The way that many of the top light weights have rowed during the last ten years has certainly left an impression with me. The Danish and Australia light weight fours have had distinct style and both have had benefits. Along with the Oarsome Foursome I would say that they have been a great source of inspiration for the style of rowing they have used. In the last few years I have also enjoyed the way the French double row.
The pocock style then is something that when I read the article I thought, I have no argument. The emphasis of the style is a close approximation to how I like to row. The thing I enjoy is that our sport has great history and the stories of how former rowers rowed and raced is intriguing, informative and inspirational. It seems that often we get caught up in attempting to reinvent the wheel as they say, when if we paid more attention and stay aware of the great foundation of rowing we could possibly make some quantum leaps in performance improvement. This doesn’t mean we need to copy or live in the past, but rather stay aware of how we have come to this point.
When I consider the history of rowing it reminds me that somethings have changed, but many things are still the same. Maybe that is just stating the obvious, but the simple fact is that the principles behind moving a rowing shell through the water as fast as you can, are still the same as they have always been. Get the blade into the water, lever the boat past and take the blade out. Then get the blade back in the water so you can do it all again, over and over again. Repeatability is key and while power is very important, efficiency is critical. Many have worked hard and gone slow, but only few go fast and have the capacity the maintain high speeds over longer distances.
What ever the observable style the principles are the same and they always need attention. Move the boat in a way that you feel you can maintain the balance between effort and ease, force and flow, aggression and relaxation.