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Coaches Corner - January 2012

posted Jan 13, 2012, 7:09 PM by TJ Crew Webmaster   [ updated Jan 15, 2012, 11:43 AM ]
We are three weeks away from the close of registration and six weeks away from getting on the water.  Winter workout participation and intensity have been excellent and as one TJ winter workout slogan read, “You don’t make champions in May.”

Now is the time for each rower to ask themselves a few questions and to be honest with themselves. Those questions are:

1. Why do I row?
2. What are my personal goals for this year and for my time at TJ?
3. How can I help the team?

The answers to these questions will be as varied as the rowers on the team.  Over the years I have heard everything from, “I row because I like to win” to “I enjoy pushing myself.”   In my mind the only bad answer to this question is one that is based solely around the social aspect of being on a team.  Your teammates work too hard to have to carry anyone in their boat that is not willing to show the determination, concentration, and perspiration needed to do the sport as well as each of you can.

As you answer question number two you have to be honest with yourself.  If you cannot break 7:00 for 2K on the erg (for the boys of course) then a goal of rowing in the varsity boat this year is not very realistic.  Your goals can be quantitative or qualitative.  They can be based around the boat you are trying to make, the erg score you are trying to reach, or a technical improvement you are trying to make.  The goals you set may be tied to the reason you row.  Don’t limit yourself with your goals, but take the time to think about what you want to accomplish, take ownership of those goals, and set yourself on a course to achieve or surpass your targets.

Finally, how you help the team will be different for each person, but this is a question for everyone, from the fastest, most gifted rower to the last spare, and everyone plays a role.  Showing your teammates that they can trust you when the race is on the line is certainly one way.  That can be done by doing the work required and not giving up when it gets hard or is not going as well as you would like.  Not every piece is going to be a PR and sometimes I learn the most about a rower when they had a hard day or when they are not feeling 100%.  Another way to help the team is to have a positive attitude and make the most of the situation you are in.  Not everyone is going to be in the varsity boat, but everyone can help make their boat faster.  Moreover, just being in the varsity boat is not enough if you are not doing what you can do to help make it better.

So I do not go too long I will answer just the first of the three questions for this article.  I row because I love the sport – I find the simplicity of the challenge (go faster than the boats around you) and the elegance of the motion addicting.   To add to that, I coach because I want to pass on what I have learned about the sport and help each rower learn a little about themselves.
-- Coach Bill Randall
Posted January 13, 2012