Coaching crews off water

crewCrew training is the ultimate group exercise experience.

Many metaphors revolve around the image of individuals working “as a crew” towards a common goal.

Experience - and coach - the unique synchronised rhythm of a crew in a racing shell – indoors!


The process of synchronising any crew can be divided into a number of phases:

  1. Teaching the crew to row a similar stroke
  2. Teaching the crew to all do that stroke at the same time
  3. Acquire proficiency in handling the oar


Indoor Scullers can play an important role in the first two phases of this process:

  • Before rowing on an Indoor Sculler for the first time we highly recommend the rower leave the handle in the handle hooks and moves the mainframe back-and-forwards twenty to thirty times, using only the heel strap to draw the mainframe and concentrating on the footstretcher pressure during the drive phase, learning to understand the importance of what he/she feels through the soles of the feet. Once that movement has been mastered and the paradigm of moving back-and-forward along the bar broken, it is generally much easier to then grasp the handle and begin rowing.
  • In the early stage of preparing a crew using Indoor Scullers, it helps greatly to have a model rower, coach or trainer with good technique. Humans are highly evolved to copy other peoples' movements (think how quickly children learn from watching their sports idols on television). As the rowers are already on Indoor Scullers, the movements they copy from the "model" quickly become second nature. In conjunction with good coaching, it won't take long to see truly rapid progress. If you don't have a model rower, find some good footage of slow steady rowing on YouTube and use that as a model; you'll find they coordinate easily with footage off on-water rowing.
  • As the crew progresses, begin teaching synchronous power production using the auditory feedback of the flywheel noise. Our ears are incredibly accurate detectors of pitch (it's one of the reasons we love music so much!) and it is very easy to use this natural feedback and synchronising system to get the whole crew producing power smoothly together.
  • The last priority in any learn-to-row program is to begin to concentrate on the actual power production as measured by the RP-mate monitor. This not only avoids self-esteem issues in younger athletes - it radically reduces the chance of injury. We are a very competitive species, and ensuring that the movement patterns are good before beginning to row hard is the best insurance against an unnecessary injury.  

Rowperfects can be coupled to greatly enhancing crew synchronisation

As a unique feature ROWPERFECT rowing simulators can simply be coupled mechanically, to truly simulate the dynamics of crew boats, by placing two ROWPERFECT rowing simulators side by side. This is done by connecting the two moving main frames by means of a light cross bar, tightened with four nuts. Two ROWPERFECT units, thus coupled side by side, react identically to a double or a coxless pair. Doubles can be coupled in line to make fours and eights. The interaction between the rowers can be clearly felt and because the rowers sit side by side, differences between rowers are more visible than in the boat. Minor differences in coordination between crew members can thus be eliminated on land more effectively than in the boat.


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