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About Rowing Science

Rowing Science

Rowing Australia’s Science program includes the disciplines of Physiology, Movement Science, Performance Nutrition, Performance Psychology and Strength and Conditioning. The focus of the Science team is to maximise positive outcomes for each athlete with the view that well prepared and disciplined athletes will reliably perform at or very close to their maximum capabilities. The disciplines work together understanding their unique areas of rowing but always combining their understanding to improve the rowers and

Rowing Australia’s Science Team is led by Dr Tony Rice. Tony has worked with The National Senior Team since 2002 and has attended the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Through to the end of 2016 he was National Sports Science Coordinator for Rowing Australia and although employed by the Australian Institute of Sport resided full-time within the Rowing Australia National Training Centre in Canberra. Since 2017 Tony has taken on the role of developing Rowing Science for the Underage Pathways rowing stream with an aim to assist with Rowing Australia’s talented underage rowers and coaching staff across the country to ensure a steady flow of quality and well prepared rowers into the senior program.

Rowing Science Disciplines

Physiology – this discipline focusses on ensuring the training and physical recovery needs of the athlete are well catered for. The physiologist understands the theory and practice of endurance training and works closely with the coaching team to help set the daily, weekly and yearly training programs. The physiologist regularly evaluates the rower through on-water and laboratory based monitoring and testing that helps guide and refine the training even further. In the Australian rowing culture, the Physiologist works with the team daily and will often be seen sitting in the coach boat observing training and discussing training needs with the coach.

The physiology team across the country use many assessment protocols aimed at testing all physiological characteristics of a rower. Some of our protocols are aimed at simplicity so that the test can be conducted anywhere throughout the world where others require the use of scientific grade equipment which helps measure very small change in performance and metabolic variables because of training.

These protocols can be found here.

Movement Science – encompasses the disciplines of both rowing biomechanics and performance analysis. A rowing biomechanist delves into the physics of rowing. They understand the powerful levers of the rowing motion, force production, catch and release angles and work with the athlete and coach to maximise each stroke through optimising individual movement patterns to fit with the theory of good rowing technique. Quite often the biomechanics of rowing relies heavily on technology instrumentation of the rowing boat and sometimes even the rower to help record movement during routine training. This information is then analysed and presented to the team after training in the video / debrief process. The biomechanist and the other key disciplines of Rowing Science work closely together to help optimise rowing technique

Strength and Conditioning