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Anyone's DCs do rowing?

(9 Posts)
HPFA Fri 14-Apr-17 15:11:20

DD (12) just completed one week Learn to Row course. The children who did the course are going to do one session of training per week until September and then start proper training four times a week.

At the moment DD pretty keen - she seemed to really enjoy it and got on well with the other kids. Obviously would be great for her fitness. BUT quite a big commitment with existing activities and Homework. She will give up gymnastics if she does this but would like to continue dance classes (two per week). Anyone out there who knows about rowing I would really appreciate your advice.

BackforGood Fri 14-Apr-17 23:31:38

Like most sports - the higher the standard, the more the commitment.
My dc haven't done it themselves, but I know a couple of lads who have, and they've really enjoyed it. Tremendous for fitness and body toning, but, at a reasonably high standard - like any sport - it has a big time commitment.

Mississippiotter Sun 16-Apr-17 00:13:12

Rowing is a brilliant sport. It is one that demands multiple training sessions a week though, unfortunately. You need a high level of fitness to learn proper technique (I've done both rowing and dancing- they are just as technical in different ways). I only train a couple of times a week now, but 10 years of high intensity training means I can do that and maintain a good level of technique. I could go back to doing it 10 times a week and get all the fitness back too if I wanted to, I just don't want to grin I actually find dance and rowing compliment each other, weirdly. Dancers are used to having to work on technique and they tend to have strong cores. Fun fact- the boats naturally sit upside down in the water. Your core strength holds them level. I gave up training more than twice a week a long time ago to focus on ballet, but I still have abs of steel wink every stroke in a rowing boat, you're doing a squat, basically. Rowing being about arm strength is a huge myth. A 500 metre race is approximately 2 and a half minutes at lower junior level, aka approximately 75 squats.

You really do need to be doing 4 sessions a week minimum if you're going to bother, especially at junior level. There is no point doing it once a week, that just isn't enough to build proper technique and the fitness required to do that. Although once a week is definitely the way forward in the very early stages. I won't lie, it's a big commitment, and doesn't leave time for other sports that take up a lot of time like gymnastics. But unlike gymnastics, it's a sport she can still be doing in her 70s- I know lots of 70 year old rowers who take it more seriously than I do grin once you have a solid technique basis, it's a relatively low-impact sport.

Feel free to ask me anything more specific, rowing was basically my teenage years!

Mississippiotter Sun 16-Apr-17 00:15:10

Just to emphasise though, you don't need to be doing it 10 times a week. I rowed with others who went on to GB trials at the time. Know plenty who trained 4 times a week and were successful on the local regatta/head race scene. You do need to be more at the 10 times a week mark if you want to go down the GB trials route, but then any sport is like that.

HPFA Sun 16-Apr-17 06:41:52

Thank you Missi and Back. - really good advice. The unfortunate thing is the once a week session clashes with her dance classes so I need to try and rearrange those - it's made it a bigger commitment than it would be. I think she's ready to give up gymnastics anyway - she was only doing it once a week. Only shame is that with all the core training at the rowing she'd probably become better at gymnastics! The coach said up until September its really just making sure they don't forget what they learnt on the course and to make sure they really want to do it.

Apart from the fitness I think she would really enjoy the team aspect - the older kids at the club who were helping on the course seemed lovely and very down-to-earth. She was in a small minority being from state school though. Was chatting to one parent and it turned out his son was at a nearby public school which takes rowing very seriously. He said his son was doing the course so that when he was old enough for the trials he'd be ahead of the other boys. No wonder the privately-educated do well in life!!

Mississippiotter Sun 16-Apr-17 09:42:22

Is the session she's down for until September just for the beginner course? What are they usually going out in atm? if it's singles there might be some room to ask if she can attend a session with the rest of the juniors instead. Not all coaches will have the capacity to do that, but it might be worth asking, worst they can say is no. It isn't fair if they're a club that trains in crew boats first- I mean this in no offence to your DD, but building rowing technique takes years and as an experienced rower of even a couple of years in a boat with a beginner, you aren't going to have a decent session iyswim. I've been on both sides of that- it's fine as a one off, but it can't be a solution. But if they're a club that teaches in singles and has the coaching capicity, it might be possible. Especially if she's keen to do it in September.

Lots of private schools with boat clubs have to select who they take because they get too many who want to do it. Having said that though, I know lots of rowers who took it up at a local club and planned to move to a school club later. By the time they were eligible they liked their current club and ended up staying. Only area where that can get tricky is with the new national schools rules, basically you can't row for a local club at national schools if your school has a rowing club, though I still know lots who did this and just didn't bother with national schools. It is a good sport from that angle- yes the vast majority of schools that row are private, but I never encountered any snobbery on the Junior Circuit. There's also a separate nationals for clubs only (no school entries), which is nice. It is great socially too, I was a very, very shy child going into it and it really helped me to have an established social circle. Instantly you have lots to talk about, even if it's all just boat related grin

HPFA Sun 16-Apr-17 14:41:34

Thank you Missi - the four-a week sessions will also include one which clashes with dance so she will have to bite the bullet eventually - I was just hoping the once-a week session wasn't going to clash so I haven't had to rearrange everything just to have her decide to give up before September! I think she'd prefer to train with the people she met on the course as they will have a bit of a bond.

I was just amused that a parent was already planning how his son could get a little ahead of the game. Considering that all the crews will be getting wet and dirty together I don't imagine there'll be much room for snobbery. I suspect also that kids find the distinctions much less noticeable than we do. They all do GCSEs, they all have teachers they dislike, I can't see it being an issue at all. I think rowing is always going to be dominated by private schools. State schools can't really provide themselves with a convenient little river and an enormous amount of very expensive equipment!

hardboiled Sun 16-Apr-17 15:30:11

No rowing here but friends who do... Great sport but lots of commitment and get ready for horrendous blisters!!!

Minimusiciansmama Mon 17-Apr-17 18:53:51

I rowed as a teen, coxed 4s in the sea. Loved it. I definitely agree it needs lots of commitment. We trained four times a week. But I had a great time. I competed locally and it went great with my gymnastics training I did twice a week x

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