Learn To Row Structure and Design
September 17, 2016
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Failing to plan, is planning to fail….


Imagine that you are at the beginning of a new rowing season. How do you go about getting ready for that season?

This post is all about how to plan for all of the training, club events, fundraisers and trips that you might be going on during your rowing club’s calendar year. I’m writing from the perspective of a high school coach as that area is the greatest area of experience for me. However, the concepts that I am going to discuss can be applied equally to collegiate, middle school, and masters rowing.

Let’s say that you season starts on September 1st. It’s the start of the whole process and your first practice or parent/athlete meeting is about to start. If you haven’t done your homework prior to this event you need to get working quickly. Hopefully, you are getting to work around the end of June or early July (or possibly earlier) so that you can get initial information out to parents and athletes so that they can plan for the season.

The best place to start is to create a Google calendar (you will need a Google email address, but this is easy to obtain) or similar (so that other folks can collaborate with you) and start to put the major events of your 9-10 month process on the calendar. Important dates to include on this calendar are as follows. (I admit that this list might not include all categories, but you get a general idea!).

  • Major regattas that your program plans to attend
  • Fundraisers that you are going to organize and hold
  • Dates like the first practice of the season and parent meetings
  • Any fun club events that you might have
  • Spring break training dates (and expectations for attending)
  • If you are a high school coach, SAT and ACT dates (this might help you decide which regattas you want to attend.

Once you have this established, it’s time to post this on your club website (very important for PR) and or compile into a document for distribution to your mailing list (or email list). Many clubs are going to the use of an APP for distribution of information. There are a large amount of folks on their smartphones so this is an excellent way to get your information out.

The advantages of this approach are that it gives you (and everyone else) an idea of how your year is going to be structured. There are many factors to consider and such as financial/budget, training load, the academic load of athletes (and when major exams are held) and many others. You get the chance to weigh up all of the options

The importance of front-loading any season with this information is that everyone is on the same page and can plan their year accordingly. If you are running summer camps in June and July parents of prospective athletes can see what the expectations are going to be for your program and can make an informed decision on whether their child can handle the level of commitment that you are asking for. In addition, if your club has a spring break trip or training period, families can plan for that before they make vacation plans that potentially conflict with your process.

In addition, the parents and the family can assess if they can adequately support their rower(s). I’m referring to things such as carpooling, or scheduling other commitments that their child might have (I’m thinking of music, drama, school clubs etc).

The other advantage is that you are marketing your program to members, parents, students and other folks in a manner that reflects an organized program that is worth investing time and money.

It takes some time to get all of this information together, but it pays off dividends in the long run!

Happy Planning!

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