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  • Writer's pictureCoach Knickerbocker

Did You Grow Today?

I’ve been enjoying seeing all of the learn to row posts come across my feed this Fall. It's the most wonderful time of the year, to coin a phrase. The time when unknowing individuals decide to pick up an oar (or two), get into a boat, and learn what it means to row.

Of course in the beginning it's just learning how to row, it's not yet learning how to be a rower. That comes later, if (long pause) the individual continues rowing long enough to fully comprehend that reality.

Learn to row'ers do, in fact, grow every day that they are on the water. It's inevitable. One can't sit in a boat and not learn something at some point about the rowing, or oneself, or the other people sitting in the boat, or the coach in the launch.

But what about you? You hardened, seen-it-all-before, long time rower?

Have you grown today?

What does growth look like for someone that's been rowing a while?

If you're not growing as a rower/athlete, your dying as a rower/athlete. Full stop.


For me growth looks like humility. It looks like mentorship, patience, having an understanding of process over the long term, and it looks like love.

Love for the sport, the water, the boats.

Love for the people who you row with, for, and against.

Love for success and love for failure.

Of course it also looks like gaining traction on a technical peccadillo, or noticing that there's greater strength/speed/power available to you.

It's competing at a higher level and with more confidence than you've experienced before.

It's recognizing when you're getting in your own way or when you're getting in the way of a teammate.

It's knowing that there is much more to this than simply catch, drive, finish, recover.


Growth can also be quiet and personal.

Growth of character, while mostly imperceptible to those around you, is a revelation for the individual experiencing it.

This kind of growth can be hard won.

It's tricky looking at oneself and not taking no from yourself for an answer.

In other words, you will resist being uncomfortable, and you will tend towards ease. But sometimes it is exactly the uncomfortableness of walking through growth that creates your next level.

So, did you grow today?

Ask yourself if you have a better understanding of who you are competitively and athletically today than you did yesterday, or last week, or last month.

Ask yourself how you're approaching your development differently now than you did a year ago. Keeping in mind that "development" can mean anything from how you're competing, to how you're talking to yourself in your head, to looking at how you're mentoring new masters rowers.

Determine what growth looks like to you, and then plan out your path towards that end.

Keep growing rower.

Keep growing, keep rowing.

Row hard, Row well, Compete, Have fun!

Coach Knickerbocker

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