Rowing, a sport that demands precision, strength, and strategy, holds an allure for many. In this enlightening discussion with Coach John Bancheri, a figure renowned in the rowing community, we delve into the nuances of rowing bladework that transform good rowers into great ones. In this conversation, we take a deep dive into the concepts of effective control and look at how the teachings of Steve Fairbairn influenced Coach Bancheri.
The Essence of Effective Rowing
At the heart of effective rowing lies the mastery of bladework. As Coach Bancheri puts it, the blade is the propeller of the boat, the only component that truly interacts with the water to propel the boat forward. Understanding and perfecting this interaction is crucial.
Body Angles and Posture
The journey to rowing excellence begins with body angles. Posture is not just a prerequisite for power; it is power. The initial focus on swing picks, without the slide, helps in establishing the crucial body angle. This angle is further refined through various drills, emphasizing the significance of a long outside arm and a high outside shoulder.
Grip: The Understated Element
Grip might seem like a minor detail, but in rowing, it’s a pivotal aspect. A grip that’s firm yet relaxed leads to efficient rowing. The relaxation starts in the thumbs, radiating throughout the body, reducing unnecessary tension.
The Blade Work: The Tip of the Spear
The highlight of Coach Bancheri’s technique is the rowing bladework, especially the concept of “the tip of the spear.” This approach focuses on how the blade enters the water, emphasizing a clean entry and minimal splash, akin to the precise work of a surgeon with a scalpel. The blade should feel like it’s being grabbed by the water, rather than aggressively slicing through it.
The Role of Relaxation
The culmination of these techniques is relaxation. A relaxed rower, who has mastered the art of blade work, posture, and grip, moves in harmony with the boat. This synergy allows for the efficient transfer of energy, making every stroke count.
Mentorship in Rowing
This conversation also sheds light on the importance of mentorship in rowing. My learning journey, influenced significantly by Coach Bancheri’s teachings, underscores the value of shared knowledge in the rowing community. As rowers and coaches, the continuous exchange of ideas and experiences not only enhances individual skills but also enriches the sport as a whole.
Rowing is more than just physical prowess; it’s a ballet on water, where every movement counts. Coach John Bancheri’s insights provide a deeper understanding of what it takes to excel in this graceful yet demanding sport. For every aspiring rower, these lessons are not just technique but a pathway to achieving rowing excellence.
Credits and Attributions
The video of ideal bladework featured in this webinar is from USRowing and can be found at this link: timestamp 13:42 to 14:25 https://vimeo.com/265514500
The “edge control” graphic is provided courtesy and with thanks to Rowing Canada.