junho 30, 2011

Catch and Release, By Rich Davis

Um artigo da Rowing News que pode ser lido aqui:
http://rowingnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=253%3Acatch-and-release&catid=42%3Aask-the-coach-a-race-plan

What is the difference between coaching the blade and coaching the body?
Some people say that if the body follows proper technique, the blade will enter the water and propel the boat forward. Others point out that coaches need only to watch the blade and teach their rowers how to make the blade do what it needs to do to propel the boat. Several coaches that I admire seem to pay little attention to what is happening inside of the boat. Their athletes could be leaning out of the boat with their heads down and apart, and so long as they catch, drive, and release correctly, all is forgiven. They coach from the blade in. I believe that approach works best, even though I often find myself coaching the body. The argument for coaching the blade is convincing. What the blade does in the water and on the recovery determines the speed and efficacy of the stroke, thus the movement of the boat. To coach the blade, the coach and coxswain must focus on how their rowers move the blade. If the blade is too high off the water, it's the coach's job to show them proper handle height on the recovery. In many ways, this approach is not all that different from coaching the body, but most athletes will understand the logic of beginning with the outboard first. I also like it because the focus is on what works, not what's pretty. 
What is the best way to teach the starting sequence?
Before you begin working on the start, your rowers should be trained to row well at the highest rate they will see in a race. The day before your first starts workout, go over the stroke sequence with them—demonstrate it on an erg in slow motion if you have to. On the water, find a stretch of flat water and practice it at low rates. Begin with the first stoke only. Ensure that the oars are parallel, the rowers are not holding their breath, the blades are fully buried on the drive, and that no one washes out. Washing out at the start will cause the boat to lurch, which will diminish the effectiveness of the following few strokes. After they have the first stroke down, start incorporating additional strokes, one at a time. Practice the starting strokes by building up the rate slowly, the way a steam engine gradually builds up speed. Then practice the addition of the step-down of the stroke. Finally, have them work on the transition from the high rates of the start to body pace. A boat will only reach race pace from a dead stop if your rowers pull harder on successive strokes. But don't practice the start if your rowers are tired; they need to be sharp and strong to do them effectively. 
How can we limit wakes from coaches' launches?
Many programs have added wakeless pontoon boats that help with this problem, but all boats leave wakes, some more than others. To prevent wakes from washing into a racing shell, coaches need to estimate when an oncoming shell will reach their wake and ensure that they have decreased their speed before that happens. Cutting the engine just before the shell comes alongside the launch is too late. The coach can estimate where the spreading wake will be as the launch and shell come toward each other. If there is lots of traffic on the water, slowing down in advance of the oncoming boats may put the coach behind his crews and unable to catch up. Another trick that I learned from Harry Parker on Boston's crowded Charles River is to head directly for the oncoming shell. Because wake goes off to the sides of the stern, heading bow to bow ensures that the wake is not in the oncoming path of the shell. Before he gets too close, Harry cuts his speed and moves out of the rowers' path. Coxswains need to know that you are steering at their boats to avoid waking them or they might panic. If coaches aren't minding their wakes, let them know.
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