Just float up to the catch

8 August 2021

Sonia Waddell


On the erg, Harry would often coach with his eyes closed. And he would listen to the fan, the flywheel, and he would…

I remember him tapping my foot when I needed to push off from the front.

And I remember thinking, I’m still coming forward, Harry, how can I? How can I be driving when I’m still coming forward?

But what he was, what I learnt was, you needed to be coming forward and feeling the boat under your feet, feeling it coming towards you. And the pressure was… you were already starting to put pressure back against the boat as you’re coming forward. And that’s what Harry was trying to get you to do.

It wasn’t a come forward and then whack your legs down. It was a very subtle change of direction.

One of the girls in our crew, her name was was Flo, Florence, but we we nicknamed her ‘Tup’ which was short for Float Up.

Harry just had this exercise, just just float up to the catch, just float up. float up. Yeah. And we would sit on the back and you just had to tap your hands out and float up to the catch.

‘No.’ And you’d do it it again. ‘No, you’re thinking about it.’ ‘No, you’re still thinking about it.’ ‘Stop thinking about it; just float up.’

And you actually had to… Harry’s way of coaching was you did, you had to stop thinking.

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About the

Sonia Waddell

Harry chose me as a triallist for the under-23 team, much to the, I guess, shock of everyone in the rowing fraternity as I’d only been rowing for 3 weeks.

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