All Rowers Care About Performance – Just Not In The Way You Think

In this guest blog post we’re lucky enough to have Matt Lehrer Director of Coaching Education at Community Rowing Inc. Boston drop some of his thoughts on rowing promotion at all levels after his trip downunder.

All Rowers Care About Performance – Just Not In The Way You Think


Two summers in a year sounded like the right recipe, it’s hard argue with trading 30° Fahrenheit December days in Boston for 30° Celsius days in Australia. As someone who spends their days finding the best ways to help coaches improve, I was also looking forward to some more water time too!
What this trip has afforded me is an opportunity to see rowing in a different light. Away from the familiarities of the American rowing scene and getting to know the breadth of rowing in Australia has been an illuminating experience. One clear marker of success that has revealed itself across both nations with rowers training at all levels is……Rowing has to be FUN, full stop.


Not every minute, not in a way that you’re on the ledge of laughter, but what’s clear to me is that the most successful rowers walk out the boathouse door everyday slightly better people than when they walked in. Each day will not be a great day, but everyday must be a day when their cycle or drive or bus ride home is filled with thoughts about their session and how they can be just a bit better the next outing. Rowing has changed them for the better because they’re healthier, happier, more connected to their community. When these thoughts linger, then FUN has most certainly been part of the session.
FUN is the performance measure that all rowers care about regardless of their skill level or goals. The measuring stick of testing themselves, seeing progress, and coming back again to try and be a bit better the next time is an experience shared the world over. How each rower measures performance varies, but what does not waver is the role that FUN plays in this measurement process.

At CRI everyday, we see an average of just over 1,000 rowers/day of all shapes/sizes/skill levels/speeds/ages/genders/ethnicities arriving from well before dawn all the way through darkness on the other end. Our challenge is to give each of these rowers the best possible opportunity to perform successfully on that day. We have great tools to work with, like the BAT Logic Shoe Plates in all of our boats, but what determines a successful session when the rowers walk back out our door is whether FUN has been achieved and they’re already thinking about the next row.


No matter what side of the world we row on, we all collectively share a part in a sport that values teamwork, camaraderie, perseverance, and the most honest effort one can put forth. We must also keep FUN in the picture alongside these core tenants continue to enjoy success at all levels.



Matt Lehrer, Director of Coaching Education at Community Rowing, Inc. – Boston, Massachusetts, USA, shared this guest blog post. Learn more CRI’s mission of “Rowing for All” and about his work with coaches at the Institute for Rowing Leadership at

See more about the Club benefits of BAT Logic