If you’ve been to Northeast Rowing Center and had Coach Lindberg (BU heavyweight men’s assistant) as your coach, then you’ll remember him asking his boats if they can list the three things that all fast crews have in common. Do you know what they are?
Blades go in before the drive begins
While the feet are still light (aka there’s no pressure being applied to the stretchers), the blade touches the water and gets heavy. This has to happen before the wheels change direction.
Hang your bodyweight off the handle all the way through the drive
From catch to finish, suspension is the key to prying and accelerating. You can read more about it in the “Top 20 terms” post linked below.
Spacing at the back end
Every coach coaches the finish a little differently but regardless of whether you keep the hands moving around the finish or do that weird pause-y thing, the hands and elbows have to be out and away before the body rocks over.
This stuff is so simple you’ll probably read it and think “…duh” but if your crew is trying to gain more speed or figure out what’s holding them back, don’t default to just thinking about pulling harder – go back to the basics and ensure you’re doing all three of these things first. You can make calls for this stuff for at any point during practice too – it all falls under the umbrella of “just one (or three) of those things” that you should always be looking for, correcting, and perfecting.