Coaching teenage girls in rowing? There’s more to it.
According to European-based, Women’s Sports Network, the difference in the approach to coaching boys and girls is the secret behind a new series of coaching manuals – ROWMoJo.
The ROWMoJo manuals are aimed at supporting teenage girls as they engage competitively in a range of sports.
“ROWMoJo investigates the difference in approach. How boys’ sport is tied up with 'outcomes', data and results. Compared with girls who tend to think more about 'process', how the team felt, whether or not they win or lose - albeit they still want to win,” says Annamarie Phelps, the past Chair of British Rowing in the forward of the manual.
All teenagers engaging in competitive sport should begin with a grounding in physical literacy – mobility, stability and strength in order to create efficient and effective movements around a stable trunk. Rowing is no exception, in fact young athletes that are too focussed on raw strength and ergo scores will likely make short-term gains but frequently fail to develop confident, underlying movement skills. This may lead to injury or even dropping out.
Is it different for girls?
Yes, girls tend to want to get movements right rather just ‘pulling hard.’ If they can’t do it right or think they are being judged, they will often withdraw for ‘fear of failure.’ They then may become lost to all sport and miss out on the confidence, social and health benefits that sport brings. Boys tend to focus more on ‘outcomes’ but actually, both elements need a good grounding in effective movement skills.
ROWMoJo is predicated on 'Physical Literacy' – using routines with balls and bands to build confidence and robust posture and trunk control around the rowing/sculling stoke. It offers advice on developing length, posture and stability on the ergo, without worrying too much about the score. Focusing more on the process rather than the outcome. It helps coaches, parents, teachers and athletes avoid injury by building a strong, stable trunk, the underlying source of power in the rowing stoke. The focus is on elements which will help teen girls ‘playing and staying’ whilst at the same time continuing to enjoy their rowing experience.
ROWMoJo also covers a range of emotive issues which impact teen girls more than boys. Areas such as: body image, diet, breast health, re-hydration, sports bras, fit or thin, social media, training with menstruation, Females Athlete Triad, coach attitude etc. All of these areas can impact on whether a teenage girl enjoys her sports experience. ROWMoJo also links to FitrWoman (WSNet’s FREE partner/period tracking app for women and girl athletes).
Find here a sample copy of the ROWMojo.
ROWMoJo is available in hardback and as an EBook download (Kindle & Apple Books) – more info here.
The Women’s Sports Network wants to get ROWMoJo translated into any language. If you, or your National Rowing body, would be interested in helping with the translation and other local adjustments email: firstname.lastname@example.org