Learn-to-Row – And Beyond!

 In Ready Row USA

Welcome to the Ready, Row! USA podcast, as we continue regular broadcasts featuring the best of rowing news, programs, gadgets & gear from clubs and rowers across the country. Today’s topic is Learn-to-Row (LTR) in honor of US Rowing’s Learn-to-Row Day, June 1. We like to call it the start of  Learn-to-Row MONTH!

Today, you’ll get some strategies for a successful Learn-to-Row program from the point of view of the club and coach. New rowers will also learn how to get the most of the experience and perhaps find a satisfying, invigorating new outdoor sport!

Ready, Row! USA is part of the international RowingChat network. You can subscribe to receive notifications of upcoming shows, send in news tips, and join our community by visiting the website.

Our newest correspondent and today’s host is Tara Morgan, founder of Seize the Oar Foundation. She’s also a Learn-to-Row evangelist, and a coach/member of the Vashon Island Rowing Club in Washington State. She joins regular correspondent Mark Wilson of the All-American Rowing Camp in DeLand, FL.

CLUB NEWS FORM – Submit your own rowing news for us to broadcast!

This week, we got word that Clam Island Rowing (clamislandrowing.com) in Silverdale, WA changed the date of their LTR event to June 8 because of the low tides on June 1. They run a lively land class, then put out the 8-person sweeps boat 4 to 5 times with six newbies and two experienced rowers. Looking forward to a great day! Contact [email protected]. Also Spokane River Rowing Assn. and a “club near you” has put together a greaat LTR classes. Check out the full listing on the Learn-to-Row page at US Rowing.

GADGETS & GEAR FORM – Your favorite hacks, tips & gear that help your rowing.

Tara’s Tips for Making It Stick

  • HOST or VISIT A National Learn To Row Day event
  • COLLEAGUES – TALK TO EACH OTHER – Check out my Learn To Row Facebook page
    LTR COACH SHORTAGE: We are in an LTR coach shortage in our community, a masters coach shortage in general in the PacNW.
  • PLANT THE SEED: Learn To Row can take a lot of different forms in terms of approach (sweep vs scull, pick vs full stroke) and curriculum (setting/meeting goals, individual progress), length (weekend clinics to TRRA’s 6-month novice team).
  • COOL THE JETS: I’ve never met an LTR who said they were taking the class because they wanted to be on a competitive rowing team and compete.
  • CULTIVATE RECEIVERS: Working with the “receiving end” coaching staff, develop KSAs, or knowledge skills and abilities.
  • COACHING GOALS: Find out the drills they should know, the rates they should be able to row at, the erg pieces they will be tested on, the extra practice they should be incorporating in their lives (stairs, running, weight lifting, crossfit, etc.)
  • THE BIG PICTURE: In my LTR, I teach and nurture team just as much as I teach strokes and tech.
  • FREE DOWNLOAD – Download here: http://www.seizetheoar.com/learn-to-row
  • THE KSAs – Coach Tara also uses an internal document she’s created over many years of LTR called “The KSAs” or Knowledge Skills and Abilities. Ask her for the doc at [email protected]

Mark’s Coaching Tips for Learn-to-Row:
My approach to LTR is more focused on Learn About Rowing. I have some thoughts on this and how it relates to new people’s expectations. The LTR experience has several goals and needs to be clear at the onset of the program for the coaches, the club and most importantly the new rower. For the set of LTR coaching tips I designed for a club in NC this month, contact [email protected].

GADGETS & GEAR for Learn-to-Row:

  • MEGAPHONE – Hearing – there’s such a thing as “learning deafness” – absorbing LTR info for the new rower can cause them to not hear you from the coach launch. Use BLUE OCEAN megaphone if your community noise policies allow it.
  • TAPE – Use this to put on the back of the rowers for their pair partner – messages of reminders, hope, encouragement or simple “3 SEAT, STARBOARD, BOW FOUR” to help them remember all the names we call them other than their given name.
  • WALL SIT – Use this to wake up your rowers legs before they go out, because we all know they pick it up with their arms for the first 2000 stroke. And it teaches them to suffer willingly. And it’s measurable over time to show progress.
  • FORCE CURVE display on the rowing machine. This gets ’em every time!
  • OTHER: Pins/buttons/swag

June 5: Order in the Club! – Club Management Software & Strategies with Kevin Goyena, Tara Morgan, Hydrow Athletes
June 12: Collegiate Nationals Recap with Alabama Coach Glenn Putyrae
June 19: “Catching” a Career – aka making a living at rowing,with Mike Davenport, Mark Wilson, Hydrow athlete Dani Hanson!



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