Eight tips for better sculling

Mark Wilkinson, Director of Rowing at The Windsor Boys’ School, shares his top tips for single sculling

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GB junior Julian van Gelderen – 2019 singles champion at Nat Schools Regatta

Mark Wilkinson, Director of Rowing at The Windsor Boys’ School, hosted a British Rowing webinar on sculling with James Loveday, Performance Development Coach – Paralympic Programme, a few weeks ago.

Working extensively with the GB junior team, Mark heads up the GB junior men’s sculling team – he shares his top tips for sculling below.

1 – Set up the boat properly

The boat is a training tool to develop the individual and the set-up can make or break it. A lot of bad sculling can be fixed with a well set-up boat.

2 – Technical drills

Challenge yourself with technical drills to develop confidence to make the normal stroke easier to deliver.

3 – Use the team model

Ensure that you apply the team technical model, agreed by your coaching team, so when you get back in a crew boat it fits!

4 – Let it run!

Relax and let the boat do something – let it run. The boat running is the ‘sweet spot’ of rowing, so don’t get in the way of it and enjoy it.

Great individuals make great teams so stick with it, get it right and embrace the challenge!

5 – Balance and basics

If struggling with balance, you can make the boat wider by pushing out the blade into the gates with your thumbs. But, remember good sculling will lead to good balance, so stop trying to balance the boat and focus on the basics.

6 – Ask for feedback

Get video feedback regularly and chat with your coach about your technical development.

7 – Train with someone else

Why not row as a peloton? Always challenge yourself against faster athletes!

8 – Enjoy the process

Most single sculling is an opportunity to learn and develop as an individual, so that you will then be ready to fit into the crew.

Finally, great individuals make great teams so stick with it, get it right and embrace the challenge!

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