Hello there again everyone!
Now that everyone is settled into the fall season, it is time to start blogging regularly again. Feels good to be back. And let me tell you, racing season is right around the corner. It’s pretty crazy honestly. It feels like just yesterday that we headed onto the water for summer rowing. But alas, the summer has come and gone, and fall rowing is in full swing, and before we know it, racing season will be upon us.
We have a full racing schedule coming up, and it looks a little something like this:
It’s always great to have a full racing schedule. It allows rowers to gain as much experience as possible, and it gives athletes and the coaching staff great opportunities to keep making
improvements in order to help athletes strive to reach their full potential by the end of the season. Personally, I have been on a race course in both roles - as a rower and a coach. With eight years of racing experience under my belt between high school and college, I have been involved in many different situations on the race course. Races that have gone very well and races that have gone very poorly. It is always very important to take something away from every competition and allow yourself to grow from race to race. Growing into a coaching role, it's very important for me to take everything I have learned on the race course, and provide useful tips for the rowers I coach to use in order to execute the best race plan each time they compete. Here are some tips to help you be the best competitor out on the race course!
1. Stay Confident: This one is important. Stay Confident, not cocky. It is so important to go into a race trusting everything you and your teammates have done, and believing that you are going to go on the race course and execute a great race. Athletes size up the competition too much. They spend too much time dwelling on the results of the other teams they are competing against and not enough time worrying about believing in themselves and their training. Going onto the race course believing you will row a great race and that you will put up a great fight with the competition, no matter who they are, will set you up for success. It puts your mind in a better place, allowing you to focus on the task at hand!
2. Take it One Piece at a Time: You take a lot of strokes during a race. There is a lot to think
about. You may be passing boats and you may be getting passed. In any situation, you can’t be satisfied. When you’re racing the clock first and foremost, you need to have the eye of the tiger. You need to take every stroke like it’s your last, and always be willing to step above and beyond the further you are in the race. It is essential, if you have a bad stretch during your race, that you trust each other and get back into a rhythm. Not many races are going to be perfect, but recovering from a bad stretch and capitalizing on the rest of your race is what sets apart the winning and the losing crews.
3. Row Your Race: FOCUS ON YOUR CREW! It is so important to focus on what your crew
is doing during a race and not let another crew’s race plan dictate what you do. Your coach is going to give you a race plan heading into the race. Listen to it and trust it. It is made to
exemplify your strengths and it is going to allow your crew to row the best race possible. If
you allow another crew in your race to change your mentality, they end up controlling the
tempo of the race which is never good. Stay composed, stay relaxed and row to the best of
4. Have Fun: This isn’t meant to be cliche. Seriously, have fun. Stay confident, take the race one piece at a time, focus on your race plan and have fun! The best races I have had were when my teammates and I were relaxed and having fun. If you go into a race too tense and nervous, it WILL affect your rowing. You’ll get too far into your head and you’ll put too much pressure on yourself which is always toxic heading into a race. Always attack a race like it’s your last. You have nothing to lose! Go for the win and row like you want it! Passion goes a long way, and if everyone in your boat is on the same page, and everyone is willing to push the limits together, it is an amazing feeling.
I’ll be back this Thursday with a fun story from my rowing days. But until then, keep up the
great training and get excited for racing season!
Coach Matt Dorio