Rowing is a unique sport, and there are a few hints and tips to assist Parents and Guardians of Crew Members through the season ahead.
As parents, you are a critical member of Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club. Without you there would be no rowing and no crew members. Our crew members and club can not operate effectively without your support, and what we need are parents who provide support to help crews to row to the best of their ability and to give their best each and every day.
Rowing brings with it a great need for responsibility, participation and commitment. This is not just for crew members, by having a crew member with Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club this typically means:
Becoming an unpaid chauffer- crew members need to get to training sessions which are often before 6am, and they have to be on time to not let their crew down.
Helping out - regattas, camps and fundraising can not happen without helpers, Every event needs time and effort to organise, and to make it happen on the day. There is a role for everyone, and the more people involved the easier the load and the more we get done.
Being disappointed, elated, confused and over the moon all in one day - welcome to the wonderful world of rowing, it’s normal.
Asking millions of questions - this can be done repeatedly and you may still be confused about some of the terminology well into your second season.
Fundraising - boats, equipment, out of town camps and regattas all add up to a significant shared fee… and you will be so pleased that you made the investment, you will think it was cheap at double the price!!
Your role at training and regattas
Be a cheerleader for the whole club, not just your crew member.
Please do not involve yourself in the training. let the crew members and coaches do their jobs. Crews need to develop their own unique identities and prepare for races on their own.
Any communication with coaches must be via the President or Vice President If you do have any issues or concerns regarding the coaching please send these via email to President@tgsrowing.org.nz or Vice_president@tgsrowing.org.nz who will then liaise with the Head Coach and coaching team to address the matter.
Crew members are responsible for carrying boats, oars, checking equipment, loading trailers, cleaning equipment and looking after the boat shed. This responsibility will assist in the appreciation of the plant and equipment within the club, and develop an understanding of what is required to prepare their boats and equipment efficiently and effectively for each race.
Regattas are the business end of the sport, like training step back and let the coaches and crew members do their thing. Your role is to cheer and support from the bank. From the time that the crew members leave the supporters tent to go to the boat park and until they return they must be left alone.
The off water area and boat parks are always out of bounds for parents. The coaches and crew members have a strict protocol of briefing, preparing, launching, racing, boat recovery and de-briefing that they follow and only when thee crew or lend a shoulder to cry on. This sport is not only tough for crew members and coaches, but on parents also.
Resist the temptation to get directly involved in crew matters such as seating selection, race programmes and boat availability.
Actively supporting coaching decisions is crucial and avoid making requests for alternative equipment or crew changes. Crew selections and changes are made with a great deal of prior thought and discussion. Clear criteria regarding a crew members fitness, strength, performance, attendance, attitude and ‘boat fit’ plus a number of other key factors are reviewed on a monthly basis, and the coaching team put a significant amount of effort and time into selecting the optimum crew combinations for each boat.
Your role as a parent / guardian
Encourage their independence as much as possible. We believe that it is better for each crew member to make their own mistakes and learn for themselves, as improvement often comes from losing not winning.
Be prepared for the disappointment of your crew member missing out on being selected for a certain squad, not getting a seat in their desired boat or possibly losing an important race. The completion both on the water and in the club is very strong, and often situations change throughout the season.
Emphasis improved performance not winning. Winning is the aim and only happens when performance is better than the opposition. Our crew members have no control over the oppositions performance.
Be realistic about your crew members physical ability. recognise that crew members have a wide range of potential, ability and motivation.
Recognise rowing for what it is. It is a sport that requires supreme dedication and is both mentally and physically demanding for our crew members. Winning at a national championship requires good planning and management, world class coaching, total commitment and effort from our crew members, and always a little luck.
Do not relive your athletic past through your crew member, and do not expect your crew member to fulfil your own ambitions. Remember that success depends upon intense self motivation, the acceptance of sacrifice and a gradual progression towards defined goals.
Avoid getting involved in discussions that relate to conflicts that the crews are having and taking sides, not all the facts of the situation may be readily available to you. The intense nature of the sport can create conflicts in the crews, this is to be expected and should be worked out by the coach and the crew members in the first instance.
We will need and appreciate your assistance and support throughout the season - and do not worry, you will be asked. It takes a great deal to effectively manage the club and continue to provide a high quality training programme, all through volunteer support and your willingness to help fundraise and support some of the logistical, catering and operational activities required will be greatly appreciated.