World Cup Feature: Coaches have their say
At the Samsung World Rowing Cup I in Sydney, Australia the team of rowing coaches are busy. Before and after their athletes have trained or raced there are still many jobs to do.
These coaches often come from a background of being a rower. Laurel Korholz of the United States is a former Olympic medallist who now works as a coach with her former coach. Gianni Postiglione of Italy was still rowing when he got offered a coaching position.
Here is a quick couple of minutes with two top coaches.
• On becoming a coach
“I was rowing for Tom (Terhaar) for five or six year and I was ready to retire after the Athens Olympics. He asked if I wanted to coach. I said I’d give it a shot. It’s eight years later and he hasn’t fired me yet,” - Laurel Korholz (USA assistant coach to Tom Terhaar)
“I wanted to continue to be a rower and I was waiting for a proposal from my club (it didn’t come). The Naples club (Italy) at the same time was asking for a coach and offered the job to me and I started. My idea was that it would be temporary. My dream was to work in a telephone company. The club said they’d find me a position in the phone company. I’m still waiting,” – Gianni Postiglione (Greece head coach)
• On which part of the stroke is the most important
“No, I don’t focus on a certain part. Every athlete is different,” – Korholz
• On the steps in transitioning from rower to coach
“The first step is to do well in what your coach had done wrong. The second step is ‘do what I do’. So as a coach you show them. But it’s not about showing, it’s about feeling and many rowers don’t have a feeling of their body, especially beginners. The third step is when athletes don’t understand what you say so you just repeat the same thing. But if they don’t understand then as a coach you need to change your approach and change what you’re saying,” – Postiglione
• On what rower(s) they admire in terms of technique
“For technique (James) Tomkins and for ability to win, (Matthew) Pinsent and the Romanian women’s pair. You don’t have to look pretty to win,” – Korholz
• On favourite balance drills
“I’m the last person to talk to about balance,” – Korholz
• On where to be found when your athletes are racing
“I watch them from the bike if possible or on TV. During a week-long World Championships there is time to improve on technique,” – Postiglione
“On the bike path,” – Korholz