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The rowing stroke is cyclical in nature.

Columbia University Lightweights

The catch leads to the drive which leads to the release which leads to the recovery which leads back to the catch. Each segment of the stroke flows seamlessly into the next. This continuity creates a relationship where doing something right anywhere in the stroke leads to an improvement in the whole. A strong build of pressure on the face of the blade during the drive allows for a powerful send and time to patiently release the blade from the water so as to not disturb the run of the shell. This sets the stage for a smooth recovery that allows the boat to continue gliding over the water as rowers prepare their blades for a decisive catch. The cycle builds upon itself. If you’re doing something right, you’re doing everything better. Likewise, if you’re doing something wrong, it dampens the rest of the stroke.

You have to constantly work at perfecting the nuances and minute details of your stroke. Of your physiology. Of your life as a whole. To remain the same is to remain stagnant. If you fail to improve, in effect you become worse relative to the competition. But the more heretical outcome is that you cease growing as a person.

Nich Parker, Columbia Lightweights Head Coach
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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.