Exercises and Commands
There are many exercises which crews are expected to execute to improve crew efficiency or to accelerate.
These are a sample:
SAME SIDE DRILL
During the next change, only seats two and four will change over putting everyone paddling on the same side of the boat. This is for timing and technique practice. 1&2 – 3&4 SAME SIDE! Next change, seats 2 and 3 change only so that 1&2 paddle together and 3&4.
Seat 3 calls changes every four to five strokes to practice the change over specifically to keep the boat moving during the change and to keep everyone in time during the change.
Starting at the next change, bring the stroke rate up a bit and power up to 90%. This is known as race pace. Used when boat is slowing or to focus crew. Up for one minute, down for one minute; up for two minutes, down for two minutes, etc. There are a number of variations of this drill.
Seats 1-5 paddle with their eyes closed, keeping time only by the rhythm of the boat and the sound of the other paddles hitting the water. The crew must focus on the rhythm and feel of the boat.