Push, don’t pull
It’s a common misconception that rowers have big arms, but rowing is a mainly legs-based sport. Master the sequence of using your legs first when you’re taking a stroke, followed by your hips, and finally pulling your arms. Practising on an indoor rower can be great to improve your technique and fitness before heading out on the water.
Build your confidence
We use drills to teach new rowers confidence in the boat before they get moving. Try turning your boat 360 degrees as fast as you can, or rocking it side to side, touching the riggers into the water as many times as you can in 30 seconds. It’s a great way for beginners to get used to the wobbling of a boat.
Using a crew boat, such as a double or quad, can be a great way to practise: the crew can “sit” the boat by not rowing, so you don’t have to worry about the balance. This is the best way to take full strokes while you’re learning.
• Dan Moore is a high performance coach at British Rowing