To Erg Or Not To Erg?

The hot topic every winter conditioning season is whether coxswains should sit down on the erg? The answer is unequivocal yes! Here are three reasons why every coxswain should get the flywheel spinning alongside the rowers:

  1. You are working on your fitness. Yes, even though we don’t move the boat physically it is important to look out for our own health and fitness. Developing and maintaining good habits should be a life long pursuit. Furthermore sitting on the erg give you another physical outlet for reducing the stress that you are sure to experience during the year.
  2. Erging gives you insight into what your athletes are experiencing. By spending time on the erg you can come to understand what your athletes go through over the thousands of meters (or more) they put in on and off the water. The mental and physical challenges of rowing your rower’s face will come into focus more easily if you have experienced them yourself. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to support your athletes better when it counts.
  3. You will gain respect from your athletes. When your rowers see you working out they will more readily see you as someone that supports and understands them. When they see you pushing through an erg workout they will trust that when you ask for more from them on the water that it comes from experiencing it yourself. That trust will make them more willing to give more and push harder for everyone including you.

This is not saying that you should be doing the same workouts each day as your rowers because you have other duties to perform during winter conditioning as well, and everyone knows that. But on those days when you can fit a spin on the erg alongside your teammates, it will pay dividends!