The transition from rowing into coaching

The transition from rowing into coaching is often something I find myself getting caught out with. Like walking past a window and seeing a reflection while all so seeing through the glass to the view on the other side. The flicker and glimmer of an image cast across the lens of glass catches your eye all the while the things seen through it are a wash with this lens but in a fait and off kilter way and more only a moment.

Yesterday I was back in a boat and actually it was the third time this week as I filled in our men’s quad scull for one of our athletes. Its was like being back on the other side of the glass looking back through from an all to familiar lens and now tho s time the dancing image was my newer perspective. Having watched sessions for the speed boat in Italy and the bike path in Eton these row’s have reminded me so vividly of the realities of making changes, holding movement patters, concentrating, driving, staying loose and so much more. Hold this, move that, step, press, spin, stretch, hold, roll, stay talk, snap, crisp, hips, together, drive, swing, hold, draw, release, yes, oops, no, blade on water, keep up, relax, set, stretch, place, string, hang, com’on, up, draw, time it, got it, away, lead, up, pick, tall, hips, slide, twist, shit, caught, hands down, length, press, through, away, hold body, handle lead, soft knees, boat to us, hands catch push and the self talk went on and on. Stroke after stroke I had to keep all the little reminders going.

Sure I had times where it became a little more natural, but to be honest I was doing heaps of processing. Balancing effort with relaxation, tech focuses with driving, timing with others and ability to contribute or stuff things up. What this did really was bring back much of this reflection in the glass which I actually never really thought I would be experiencing again. So there I am in four days and four row’s I have done 68km with much of it at heart rate 170+ bpm. Yes thats right I was well into the red and yet loving it. It really has reminded me of some many things and even though I am not a scullers &%##*& I enjoyed doing some new things while still trying to find the feeling of old. Also I thought I was moving my hands so fast at the release only to made told I still had the slowest hands. Using tow oars rather than one was only challenging when I completely forgot to do something with one of them. That’s right I just plain forgot on occasions to do what needed to be done and on these occasions I found myself apologising to the guys.

The transition then to coaching or working with our National team coaches has been bloody great fun. Sure its not all smooth sailing there has been a few stormy days as I get used to my role and likewise for those I am working with. So these few rows have been a gentle reminder of a past and with my new focus I am curious how I can assist our athletes and coaches better with this refreshed understanding.

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