Level 4 (Performance Talent)


(c) Naomi Baker

To develop an individual who is a competent participant, there would be a year round structured training programme. This is a major development level in relation to fitness and physical development if heading towards the High Performance pathway. In competition the participants will be striving to win, but the overall annual programme should still be focussing on developing skills and training modalities and having a good understanding on how these may impact on their development and performance. This level will develop a competent competitor, whose focus is placed on the process of learning and developing from their competitive experiences, rather than on the outcome of a competitive event. Strength and conditioning training should be fully integrated in to the programme to increase career longevity and more effective power transmission in a boat.


Demonstrating a high degree of competence for most skills.

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In any boat type

Getting afloat

  • Independently get afloat in a single
  • Can enter a boat and then do up the waterside swivel
  • Can launch from different bank settings, e.g. from a bank level jetty, from wading, from steps (or can explain how this would be done)

Grip and posture

  • Has sufficient flexibility to tilt the pelvis anteriorly (rock over) from backstops, without compensating at the catch.

Confidence and balance skills

  • Further improvement
  • Stand up and turn round then sit down
  • Tossing an oar / rowing in difficult
  • Can do a roll up and then return from the catch to the finish whilst keeping the blades clear of the water.


  • Show equal competency in being able to turn in 35-40 seconds in both directions
  • Explain the effect of current, tides and wind on steering
  • Use current to hold a position on the river
  • Steer a good and safe specified course with bends and turns

Stopping skills

  • Can complete an emergency stop when directed at speed and stop within two boat lengths.

Whole stroke

  • Maintain good posture across the length of an effort in training
  • Analyse your own posture and technique using video feedback

Catch and connection

  • The catch is taken as the last part of the recovery, whilst the rower has flat hands (test this over 250m).
  • Can row full pressure, square blade.
  • Can perform late squaring and still get correct catch sequence.


Fitness levels at Level 4 should allow a rower to compete at peak performance under race conditions.

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On water

General Fitness

  • Can complete 60 minutes of continuous UT1 cross-training comfortably with an elevated heart rate. (e.g. swimming, running, cycling etc.).


At Level 4, rowers should be able to train independently when required, following the coaches’ guidance.

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  • Can measure blade pitch
  • Can measure lateral pitch
  • Can explain the effect that negative, neutral, and positive lateral pitch would have on the blade throughout the stroke
  • Can adjust spread, span and lateral pitch
  • Stretcher angle rake


Live daily the ethos and behaviours that are expected of a high performance athlete.


At Level 4 (Performance Talent) events will start focusing on more competitive national competition. Focus should still be on the personal challenge of finishing at a realistic target for the individual and crew. At this point, rowers may start thinking about if they are capable of feeding into the GB Rowing Team.

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This would include:

  • British Rowing Championships (Senior, Junior 18 & Offshore)
  • National Schools Championship categories
  • BUCS Championship Categories
  • Henley Royal, Henley Women’s & Henley Masters Regattas.
  • World Coastal Rowing Championships.
  • World Masters Regatta
  • Individuals may also consider attending GB Junior or U23 Trials.


Workshops & Learning Opportunities

  • AASE – Juniors

<<< Training Guidance

<<< Level 1

<<< Level 2

<<< Level 3

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