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6 ways to bring enjoyment to training athletes

6 ways to bring enjoyment to training athletes

Rowing is full of pain and strife, alongside passion and a lot of love. Sometimes athletes get lost in the struggles that rowing brings and getting them past that can be a challenge.

So why not adapt your coaching to build fun into how you train your athletes?

Here’s are 6 ways to bring enjoyment to your athletes while they train:

  1. Play some music while they train
    Music has been known to make people work better and quicker, while also creating the feeling of time passing. This takes care of both entertainment and boredom problems.
    In this blog post from Rowperfect, author Rebecca Caroe explores what makes music so catchy for workouts. Having a song with a steady tempo, hypnotic beat, and inspiring lyrics (if any) seems to be a good starting point.

  2. Promote self competitionPeople like to do better than yesterday. Scores, times, distances, you name it, improving personally is a huge confidence boost and builds enjoyment. Give your rowers some chances to compete against their own times and urge them on towards bettering their record.
    This also gets you more involved by getting excited as your athlete nears a personal best (PR).
    Most importantly though, it encourages persistent improvement which is is very enjoyable because the athlete clocks small gains. As long as that persists, so will their enjoyment of the results from your training.

  1. Laughing is the best medicine
    Immerse your athletes in rowing culture. Print funny rowing pictures all over their indoor training area, get them rowing t-shirts, or share rowing anecdotes for both rowing and life.
    By including humour and culture in your athletes’ lives you associate the feeling of elation with their training and the sport of rowing. This means no matter what your athlete endures in their training, they’ll keep coming back and wanting more.  Take a look at these funny Rowing motivational quotes and Rowing funny images on pinterest for some inspiration.

  2. Use imagery to create scenarios
    Maybe your rowers get caught up in the moment quite easily? turn this to your advantage and have them imagine they’re being chased by a crocodile!
    Scenarios are fun and if you’re a great storyteller you can fill your athletes with the kind of excitement that pushes them further in their training. Paint them a mental picture with words as they close their eyes during an erg workout. Make them believe they are rowing in the Olympics and it’s the final race for Gold with the crowd cheering.

  3. Train with the community or for a charity
    Getting your local community involved in training can be a great way to bring fun into your training sessions. Get a community dog walk going and have your athletes walk or do shuttle runs with it on a regular basis.
    The idea is to get people chatting and having fun. We’re social animals and during workouts we are at our most active. This means we’re talkative, happy, and excited. This isn’t for every athlete but for those that enjoy company it can mean the difference for an effective workout.

  4. Creating rowing challenges
    Athletes like a challenge, and they also like a change of pace. Erg training and the like can get too repetitive at times so it can be a lot of fun mixing up your activities. Here are a few ideas you could try.

    1. Rowing with 1 arm behind your back

    2. Rowing blindfold and trusting the coxswain

    3. Swapping positions of members in the boat – row on the ‘wrong side’.

    4. Achievements based around all of these activities (e.g. how few strokes can you use to turn the boat round?)

It’s not just about the sense of accomplishment these activities bring, but also just getting your rowers to do unorthodox and fun activities that mix up their schedules and exercise their brain as well as their muscles.


Now that you’re armed with 6 tools to load more fun into your training sessions you’re ready to brighten a rower’s day. All the best to you and the athletes under your care!


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