In this interview I sit down with Dan Harris, World Class Start Coach for Bath. Dan works on behalf of British Rowing and is responsible for running talent ID testing regularly – to try to identify and recruit more athletes. In addition Dan is instrumental in training his athletes day to day and has been in this role since September 2011. 

One of the things that makes Dan’s perspective particularly insightful is handles the coaching on the water and in the strength and conditioning facility. I learned a lot from my conversation with Dan and how during the formative years of athletic development between 14-18 he emphasizes that some of his rowers strength train up to 4x a week to add mass in preparation for the high volume they will need to handle at the senior level.

Part 1 | Talent ID 

  • What physical metrics are you looking for in your athletes (height, weight, athletic background)?
  • What ergo scores?
  • Other athletic profile/physiological measurements to identify strong potential rowing candidates.
  • Anything on the mental/psychological side?

Part 2 | Athletic Development

  • More gym sessions at a younger age to work on mobility, flexibility, strength, stability, power, – Why is this important?
  • Athletic development and importance of adding some muscle mass so the athletes can sustain the training volume at U23 and Senior levels.
  • What is your focus for that 14-18 age group in terms of gym? In terms of rowing?
  • Notable Olympians who have come through the Bath Start programme?
  • Skills to do
    • Pull ups / chin ups
    • Front and back squat
    • Seated rows and lat pull down, bent over row vs. bench pull

Rapid Fire

  • What’s your top technical drill to develop skill for a rower?
  • What strength and conditioning exercise do you feel has the best carryover to rowing?
  • If you were in charge of FISA, what would you do to keep lightweight rowing? How would you continue to develop and expand the sport?
  • What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
  • What’s the one thing junior athletes should be doing more of to compliment their training and health?

Show Notes: