The recovery phase – relaxed and moving with the boat

29 May 2021

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I can’t remember that much about the recovery phase of the stroke that I did with Harry. If anything, it was just to relax and get forward and get on to the next stroke. And in a way, I used to think a lot about moving slowly and all this sort of thing.

When… when I was on the way forward, I was just coming forward, and I was just relaxed and I was gonna do nothing to disturb the boat.

And I remember Harry getting me to look at a little girl who you know, J15 girl, whatever, not very competent, but just notice how relaxed they were, how relaxed she was. As she came forwards, the boat went this way, the boat went that way.

Just relax and come forwards. If the boat falls this way, the boat falls that way, just let it happen. And then make that connection again.

And to actually say, worry about whether the boat’s balanced, worry about whether the boat’s comfortable, during the drive phase. Because during the drive phase, it’s really important that you’re working against the blades; the blades are locked, you’ve got your work, your work’s coming through properly. On the way forward, don’t worry too much about it.

And by not worrying about it, the boat would be level, the boat would carry on moving, and I could then let it come up to me, let the boat come to me, because it already had speed on it, and I could just then be relaxed, moving with the boat and then ready for the next stroke.

And for me that was, kind of, Harry’s perfect stroke as I remember it.

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Greg Searle

British rower Greg Searle was already an Olympic Champion in sweep rowing when he was first coached by Harry Mahon in the single scull.

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