Level 2


(c) Drew Smith

British Rowing would like to see all coaches supporting their rowers to be competent with Level 1 before moving on to any specific rowing training. Successful completion and positive experiences of the level 1 stages is likely to keep the rower interested and engaged to stay in the sport.


Developing confidence to get in and out of the boat and demonstrate simple skills.

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In any boat type Sculling or Rowing.

Getting afloat

As a crew:

  • Carry the boat, turn and place on water.


  • Place the blades in the correct swivel and tighten.
  • Adjust to correct backstops position.

Grip and posture

  • Correct sculling / rowing grip.
  • Square and feather using the fingers.
  • Maintain good posture for whole stroke sequence.

Confidence and balance skills

  • Building on all the exercises for Level 1 but increased targets and quality.
  • Can do a roll up.


  • Tap turn a boat.
  • Turn the boat 360 in 55-60 sec.
  • Get onto a stake boat, use passing blades forward technique to maintain straight course.
  • Can show looking over both shoulders when steering.

Stopping skills

  • Successfully carry out an emergency stop from strong paddling speed.


  • Demonstrate hands, body and slide on recovery.
  • Demonstrate the recovery in a fixed seat boat.
  • Arms only, body lean (hip pivot).
  • Quarter, half, three-quarter, full slides with correct body and hand position at each point – where appropriate for the boat type.

Catch and connection

  • Place blade correctly as the last part of the recovery phase.
  • Can lift their weight off the seat while pushing from the catch position five times.
  • Square extraction whilst paddling.
  • Introduce feathering with early re-squaring.
  • Recovery follows hands, body, slide model with good posture.


  • Fixed seat recovery with good posture.
  • Hands are held so that blades are clear of the water on most strokes.
  • Squaring is completed by three quarter slide in preparation for the catch.
  • Demonstrates good ratio and rhythm at low rate.


Distance per stroke:

  • Water 1,000m @ 24
  • Rowing machine 1,000m @ 24


Developing flexibility, strengthing and stability to promote physical literacy and correct movement pattern.

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Core Engagement

  • Can successfully complete Testing Core 2. (See Core Workshop).


  • Can successfully complete all exercises from Intermediate Flexibility.
  • Can hold the ideal position for the Thomas Test. (See British Rowing Technique Workshop).


  • Can complete all exercises from Intermediate Strengthening.
  • Can consistently engage their glutes before hamstrings using the Glute Test. (See British Rowing Technique Workshop).


  • Can complete all exercises from Intermediate Stability.


Developing physical activity to maintain a consistent elevated heart rate for a short period of time.

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On water

General Fitness

  • Can complete 30 minutes of continous cross training comfortably with an elevated heart rate. (e.g. swimming, running, cycling etc.).


Developing knowledge to allow the rower to become independent.

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Rowing terms

Understand the meaning of:

  • Bow side
  • Stroke side


Basic equipment maintenance:

  • Checking nuts and bolts.
  • Attaching riggers.
  • Understand how adjustment of foot stretcher and height effects position in boat, comfort, stroke length, posture.


  • Knowledge of how and where to set ergo drag


  • Have a basic understanding of how regattas & head races work.


Begin to take ownership of their training as well as their behaviour and responsibilities within the sport.

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Cold Water Immersion & Hypothermia

No matter how good a swimmer you are, sudden unexpected immersion in cold water can cause an initial cold shock that affects muscular co-ordination and impairs the ability to swim. Heat loss from immersion can quickly cause hypothermia. Any of these factors can lead to drowning. Everyone has a responsibility to assess and manage the risk of immersion in cold water and to know what to do if it occurs.

(Section 8.1 of RowSafe) Everyone is expected to:

  • Have studied the effects by completing the British Rowing Cold Water & Hypothermia online learning module
  • Know and watch for the symptoms of mild hypothermia (such as complaints of feeling cold and tired, poor comprehension, disorientation, poor concentration, irrational behaviour, violent outbursts and confusion)
  • Understand the effects of cold water immersion and hypothermia
  • Be prepared for those effects if immersed in cold water
  • Wear clothing appropriate to the conditions (see Keep warm and Introduction to Coxing and Steering online learning for those people who are involved in coxing)
  • Report incidents to the club and British Rowing

Sunburn, Heat Illness and Exhaustion

(Section 8.2 of Rowsafe) Everyone is expected to:

  • Understand the effects of hyperthermia (heat illness and heat exhaustion) and sunburn (see Avoiding Heat Illness in the Club Coach material and NHS Choices Introduction).
  • Be prepared for those effects if exposed to heat or sun.
  • Use a high factor sunscreen and wear clothing appropriate to the conditions (see Introduction to Coxing / Steering online learning).
  • Carry drinking water and remain hydrated.
  • Observe fellow rowers and watch out for signs of hyperthermia or sunburn (see under “Coaches” below).


For level 2 rowers, events should be focused on development and gaining experience or continued participation for more experienced rowers who have decreased the amount of training they are able to do.

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This could include:

  • Skill events e.g. J14 Omnium at British Rowing Junior Championships.
  • Ball Cup
  • Explore Series
  • Tours
  • Local races, including regattas and head races.
  • Challenge events, e.g. The Great Tyne Row, Great River Race, Tideway Heads.
  • British Rowing Sculling Festival (Novice categories).
  • Beginner categories of national events e.g. J14’s at BRJC or National Schools, Beginner/Novice events at BUCS events or National Masters.
  • British Rowing Beach Sprints.


Workshops & Learning Opportunities

  • BUCS TID Camp


<<< Training Guidance

<<< Level 1

Level 3 >>>

Level 4 >>>

FAQs >>>


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