Video of the Week: Polish Quad
This week's video comes to us from Poland. The Polish Men's Quad, which won gold in Beijing, is shown here during what appears to be a low-rate AT training session. The base rating is 26 s/m—a number at which they arrive with the greatest of ease because of their aggressive, unified drive phase and smooth release, not disturbing the boat and allowing it to run out to the fullest extent before placing the blades once again (the shot of the bow sliding through the water is informative). If you watch the sculler at stroke, you can easily see how much thought and practice he has put into honing his technique. Not only is his sculling superb (in my opinion, the he is the most polished sculler of the crew), his breathing is equally as rhythmic and controlled.
If you take a closer look at each one of the scullers, idiosyncrasies will start to emerge. The sculler at bow breaks his arms as he takes the catch, and the two-seat allows his knees to fall over the gunwales just slightly, rather than lining them up exactly with the toes. However, when the camera pulls back and shows the swing (posture with abs engaged at the release, allowing a quick movement into and out of the bow), preparation and bladework, it is evident that this is an extremely unified, efficient crew. This is an important thing to notice as a coach—keep an eye on the big picture in addition to individual technique. After all, they are the reigning Olympic champions.
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