Coaches' Corner

June 27, 2016

Recommended Summer Reading

EngineRm Recommended Summer Reading List

Several members have suggested an EngineRm reading co-op so members can share their books.  We have copies of Boys in the Boat, Assault on Lake Casitas and Gates of Fire at the club waiting for their next readers.  If you pick up any of the books below, thanks in advance for passing them a long when you are finished.   

1) Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

New York Times Best Seller that kept the rowing world abuzz for several years. A historical account of the University of Washington's 1936 crew that captured the hearts of the American sporting world and took on Hitler's German sports machine. This is a well-written book, rich in historical details, and builds beautifully to its climactic end.

2) Assault on Lake Casitas by Brad Alan Lewis

This is a must-read for all rowers. Written in diary format, this is gripping, highly entertaining account of the author's quest to make the 1984 Olympic Team and race on what is basically his hometown course.

3) Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae that is sure to inspire commitment to your teammates and goals. Our Naval Academy rowing friends tipped us off on this book, as it is required reading for cadets.

4) Flow in Sports by Susan Jackson and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This is one of the great sports psychology books of all time. It explains that feeling and moment we've all had when everything is going right and you feel like you can do no wrong. Reading this book will help you stay relaxed and perform at maximum efficiency in all aspects of your life.

5) Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott

Another must read sports psychology book for all athletes who push the envelope. Reading this book will help you keep the faith in those stressful moments when self-doubt abounds.

6) Essential Sculling by Daniel J. Boyer

This book gives a good overview of what it takes to become a good rower. Well organized and written, this book is essential reading for all aspiring rowers.

7) Seabiscuit by Laura Hildebrand

Hands down, one of the most inspirational books you will ever read. This is an amazing account of underdogs beating the odds in one of the most incredible sports stories in history.

8) The Sculler at Ease by Frank Cunningham and Leslie Strom

Frank Cunningham was classic, life-long coach in the Seattle area, who knew many of the Boys in the Boat rowers and had a hand in coaching some of the greatest success stories in rowing, including Brad Lewis and Paul Enquist in 1984. This covers all the basics in learning to row and mastering the sport on the highest level.

9) Once a Runner by John L. Park

This is a novel based on the author's experience as a competitive collegiate runner. It captures the mindset of any competitive endurance athlete. 

10) Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

This book has nothing to do with rowing, but is a good read, especially if you're going on a road trip this summer.


May 01, 2016

Maddie O'Brien Recruited by Columbia After Rowing Less Than a Year

Meet Maddie O'Brien, Captain of the 2015-16 Columbia Women's Rowing Team.  

When did you hear about crew? Did you row in high school?
A family friend said I should look into rowing. I didn't start rowing until the end of my junior year, after being recruited for volleyball didn't work out.

When did you start thinking about being recruited to row in college?
Immediately. The whole purpose of me starting to row was so I could play a D1 sport.

How did you feel about the recruitment process?
It was much easier than volleyball. However, it was stressful sometimes being forced to make decisions that could affect the rest of my life.

When did you know for sure you were coming to Columbia?
At the end of my visit I knew that I needed to spend four years at this amazing place. I officially was accepted in December and received a likely letter in November.

What has your experience been like as a recruited athlete at Columbia? Incredible. I have grown so much as an individual. My perception of hard work has been completely altered.

How have you interacted with recruits since you’ve been at Columbia?
My best friends are recruited athletes. I have so much respect for them. However, I have even more respect for walk on athletes who got in on their own!

What advice would you have for high schoolers who are interested in rowing/being recruited at the Collegiate level?
Never give up. If you want something don't stop until you get it. If you let one coach telling you 'no' get you down, then you won't ever make it. Rowing is a numbers game and if you don't have the numbers change that! Rowing is incredible because as much as it is a team sport on the water, on the erg everything is in your control. Whoever can handle the most pain wins. So win.

April 18, 2016

The Core of Rowing ...“Brace your body against the power of your legs”

Core fitness is a key part of being ready for any physical activity, from simply standing up to training for your favorite sport. Abdominals are what most often comes to mind when people think of ‘the core,” but in fact the core refers the muscles of the entire torso, which extend from the upper back and chest down through the hip and pelvis. In essence, it's everything but the limbs, although it does attach to the upper arms and shoulders as well as to the thigh muscles. The core is often referred to as the “the powerhouse,” as this is where power and stability originate from whenever we move. To a large degree, the stabilizing effect of a good core helps safeguard the spine and place it in a good position to safely transfer power from the legs and arms. In rowing, one often hears the coaches saying “brace your body against the power of your legs,” which directly speaks to need for the core to act as that transfer station of power from the legs right up through the body (the “core”) to the handle.

With this in mind, EngineRm is proud to announce its alliance with As One Fitness as we continue to grow our rowing program and classes. Our upcoming Youth Endurance Athlete Summer Camp will include circuit training sessions with As One’s trainers, with the express purpose of improving core fitness in our young rowers as they prepare for performing on the highest level.
March 09, 2016

Maintaining March Momentum


The CRASH-B’s in late February signal the winding down of winter training for most rowers. For many people who use the indoor rower, early March can be a kind of limbo period in which they are trying to keep their land training and fitness goals on track in preparation for getting back to their outdoor activities. This is where the Concept 2 Challenges in March, Mud Season Challenge  (Individual) and The World Erg Challenge (Team) come in. Here at EngineRm we will be encouraging our members to make sure their Online Logbook is set-up and they are ready to participate in both of these Challenges. The Mud Season Challenge has already begun, and is an individual challenge, so you can get started right away with logging those meters. On March 15 the World Erg Challenge will begin and we have created our EngineRm team, which you can join today so that you’re set to go when we start the Challenge.       

February 21, 2016

C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints - Get Off With A Good Start

Good luck to all C.R.A.S.H.-B. racers.  Here is a tip to get out of the blocks quickly and get dialed in fast.  Come see us for the EngineRm Secret Start.

EngineRm Start Tip from EngineRm Indoor Rowing Club on Vimeo.


January 21, 2016

Setting Up

Before you begin your workout, there are a few things that should become second nature. First, you want to adjust the foot stretchers. This is easily done and the setting will be the same on every Concert 2 machine that you use. The strap should go across the bottom of your shoelaces and you should be able to comfortably lift your heels.  Second, you need to use the monitor and the damper to adjust your drag factor. In this case, each machine is a little different. Click the ‘Menu/Back’ button and then ‘More Options’ to go to the next list. Then press ‘Display Drag Factor’ at the top of the list and begin rowing. Your performance monitor measures the drag on the flywheel and displays the Drag Factor, a number that can be adjusted by moving the damper on the side of the flywheel. No need to row too hard here, just smooth ¼ to ½ pressure strokes while you adjust the damper to the desired setting. Speak to your coach if you’re not sure what your setting should be. Generally, damper settings will be between 2 and 5 and Drag Factors between 100 and 115.
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