It’s go time!
Our team (and other national teams around the world, I assume) are in the ultra-high intensive period referred to as “selection.” To be eligible to race at the 2010 World Championships, which will be held in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand this October 30 through November 7, USRowing is required to submit team boat line-ups to the international federation, FISA, by September 20. This means that the coaches are down to the wire to select the fastest athletes and the fastest combinations to represent the USA in the large team boats such as the 8+ (eight rowers + 1 coxswain sweep boat) and 4x (four rowers in a sculling boat). The single, pair, doubles and women’s straight four go to trials. Note, the Men’s 4- (four rowers in a sweep boat, without coxswain) is team selected.
What does this mean for us, the athletes? It means the heat is on! Between now and September 20 every move on the water and on the Concept2 Indoor Rower is under increased scrutiny. Coaches are carefully gauging which athletes are physically peaking at the right time, which combinations of athletes are moving well together, which athletes are implementing the appropriate technique with the most ease AND then there is always seat-racing…
This rowing specific term, “seat-racing,” makes most rowers (past and present) clench their jaws with angst. Seat-racing typically requires two crews to line-up and race side by side over a specific distance. Once the first race finishes (known as a “piece” in rowing), the coach switches one or two of the athletes with select members of the other line up - and race again. The difference in time between the two boats over the same course dictates who is the winning rower or pair of rowers. Another form of seat-racing is via time trial, when athletes are swapped in and out of the boat for various race pieces. As you can imagine, this is an intense situation and requires considerable consistency and tenacity from all rowers involved.
Typically, two or three switches will be made during the course of a seat-racing practice, with the race piece length ranging anywhere from 1000 to 2000 meters.
Here are a few seat-racing tips (which I will keep in mind myself):
- Don’t let the highs get too high, or the lows too low.
- Remain consistent throughout each practice.
- When it’s time to pull hard, don’t hold back.
- Keep the nerves in check by reminding yourself that “you’re doing the best you can, and that’s all you can ask your body to do.”
- And lastly, when you get your shot – take it!
SUGGESTED COMMENTS: I’m really interested in hearing from you! If you have any seat-racing tips please leave them in the comments section below this blog. I know that many high school and collegiate coaches and athletes are reading this blog. Let’s use this forum for supportive collaboration.