To welcome 2019, here are some New Year’s resolutions for rowers.
I. I will strive for balance. Everyone knows that rowers work hard. But there is such a thing as working too hard. And it’s very easy to focus too much on one area of life at the exclusion of other areas. It’s important for rowers to find a balance among school/work, rowing, and time with family and friends.
2. I will focus on the team aspect of rowing. Rowers care about beating personal records, and erg testing looms large in rowers’ concerns. But rowing is a team sport, and it’s easy to forget that a boat succeeds only if everyone in the boat succeeds. How can a rower help all of his or her boatmates succeed?
3. I will take care of my injuries. Rowers are tough, and they often pride themselves on pushing through pain. But at what point does a minor injury evolve into a major problem? Rowers need to listen carefully to their bodies and learn to notice when a back injury, for example, requires chiropractic care or when blisters on a hand need some TLC.
4. I will strive to be on time. Especially during the fall and spring seasons, showing up late makes everyone late because a boat can’t launch if a rower is missing. When everyone gets to the boathouse on time, it’s more likely that everyone can leave the boathouse on time.
5. I will eat well. We all forget to take care of ourselves from time to time. We don’t have enough time to make a good meal, we grab some junk for fast fuel, we forget to eat or hydrate. But rowers can’t afford to be careless with their nutritional needs, and so they need to plan ahead and make sure they have healthy snacks and meals ready when they need them. The USRowing website offers many articles on proper nutrition. One of the articles, by Dietitian Liz Fusco, provides a thorough examination of nutrition and hydration for rowers.
6. I will get rest. Teens need more sleep than adults. Athletes need more sleep than teens. More sleep can reduce muscle soreness and can increase your ability to train for longer periods. Row2K published an article on research connecting sleep to the ability to row faster.
You probably have your own list of resolutions for the new year. Consider incorporating some of these ideas, if you haven’t already. Even if you give just a little attention to these New Year’s resolutions for rowers, you will likely improve your overall health, increase your overall happiness, and enhance your athletic performance.
Make 2019 a good year for you and your team!
Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann.