Brad Alan Lewis

Unless you’ve also had some experience dragging around a boat trailer, [topping off the gas tank] may not sound important. But trailer driver’s know: a gas stop can be a traumatic experience. You need enough clearance on every possible side. You can’t cut the turn too sharp or you’ll clip the gas pump. Getting back on the freeway can be as challenging as sending a man to the moon.

“Unless you’ve also had some experience dragging around a boat trailer, [topping off the gas tank] may not sound important. But trailer driver’s know: a … Read More

The last great unknown, in terms of physiological training, is the optimum length of a piece. Is three minutes enough? Is ten minutes too much? No one knows. Perhaps someday the question will be answered-we’ll find out that thirteen minutes is the perfect length for a training piece when preparing for a 2000 meter race. Until then, coaches will continue exploring the whole scale, up and down, from thirty seconds to sixty minutes and more, in hopes of capturing the optimum time.

“The last great unknown, in terms of physiological training, is the optimum length of a piece. Is three minutes enough? Is ten minutes too much? … Read More

One training device is the ergometer. I never owned one, never trained on one, and practically never used one. The few national team tests I took on ergs were dismal failures, which worked wonders to further my dislike of these beastly creatures. Boring. Tedious. Noisy. Ergs have greatly cheapened rowing. Graceless. Greasy. Grim. The erg is to rowing what having sex by yourself is to having sex. Stop it!

“One training device is the ergometer. I never owned one, never trained on one, and practically never used one. The few national team tests I … Read More

Without a doubt, the next few minutes would be the most hellishly exciting in my life. Grinding pain and killer fatigue waited just beyond the word, “Partez.” But I tried to ignore those prespects, and concentrate on the priceless feelings that also awaited. I thought about the perfect strokes we would take, and about the merciless surge of power we would unleash in the last 500 meters.

“Without a doubt, the next few minutes would be the most hellishly exciting in my life. Grinding pain and killer fatigue waited just beyond the … Read More

White Hot Concentration is the unappreciated fruit of hard ligting, especially squats. When your in the squat rack, with a serious amount of weight overhead, your life literally depends on maintaining concentration. You learn to block out the swirling images in the mirror, the obnoxious chatter of the people next to you, the fat drop of sweat running down your nose. Once you’ve mastered this concentration in the weight room, duplicating it on the race course is relatively easy. Champions have only a few things in common. One weapon they all possess is White Hot Concentration.

“White Hot Concentration is the unappreciated fruit of hard ligting, especially squats. When your in the squat rack, with a serious amount of weight overhead, … Read More

The window of X Factor opportunity opens up in the closing seconds of a race-you might be sprinting at the time or just hanging one, trying to get across the finish line. With a supreme act of will, you can prolong your effort, essentially fighting off the inevitable lactic acid shutdown. You’ll have little time for contemplating the options: either wholeheartedly go for it, or back off. You must train your X Factor to unequivocally respond the way you want-go for it. Once the window is closed, it’s closed forever.

“The window of X Factor opportunity opens up in the closing seconds of a race-you might be sprinting at the time or just hanging one, … Read More

Picasso spent hundereds of hours carefully planning his masterpieces. The sketchbooks were filled with ideas, bits and pieces, test runs, none of it meant to be seen by anyone. In a similar way, rowing practices are our sketchbooks, where we prepared our raceday masterpiece.

“Picasso spent hundereds of hours carefully planning his masterpieces. The sketchbooks were filled with ideas, bits and pieces, test runs, none of it meant to … Read More

Unlike boxers-or any professional athlete for that matter-rowers have little motivation to do it longer than necessary. With a modest amount of self-realization, you’ll know when you have acquired the nebulous gifts that rowing has to offer, whether it’s courage or a strengthened soul or a powerful body. Once you have it, drop back ten yards and punt. Someone new will pick up the ball and run with it.

“Unlike boxers-or any professional athlete for that matter-rowers have little motivation to do it longer than necessary. With a modest amount of self-realization, you’ll know … Read More

Immediately upon entering the weighing-in zone, I sensed an oppressive tension in the air, the lightweights staring and glaring at each other, snarling like lean, frenzied dogs. Extreme hunger has a way of creating these emotions in even the most mil-mannered people.

“Immediately upon entering the weighing-in zone, I sensed an oppressive tension in the air, the lightweights staring and glaring at each other, snarling like lean, … Read More

The slow boat-I know it’s the slow boat because I’ve been watching them for thirty-three weeks-won the first piece by a full length. Then the fast boat won the second piece. And so it went for the next four pieces, back and forth. Conclusion: I hate seat racing.

“The slow boat-I know it’s the slow boat because I’ve been watching them for thirty-three weeks-won the first piece by a full length. Then the … Read More

I’ve always thought that Boathouse Row looked best at night, when hundreds of electric lights outline the shape of each building, truning them into fantastic postcard themes. I knew, however, from many visits to Boathouse Row, that at the same time, armies of rats were holding maneuvers in the basements.

“I’ve always thought that Boathouse Row looked best at night, when hundreds of electric lights outline the shape of each building, truning them into fantastic … Read More

The toughest part of the whole damn sport is the X Factor. To me, the X factor is your soul. It’s your courage. It’s your unique driving force. Suppose for a moment that [you] and I were [running]. Suppose that in every possible way-physical and mental-we were identical. Which one of us would emerge as the champion?

“The toughest part of the whole damn sport is the X Factor. To me, the X factor is your soul. It’s your courage. It’s your … Read More

Rigging is like Zen meditation. You must bend over the boat until your back is breaking, until your brain is filled with numbers and fractions of numbers, until you can accurately measure an oarlock’s pitch without bothering to use the pitch meter. Only then will you see the way of eternal rigging happiness.

“Rigging is like Zen meditation. You must bend over the boat until your back is breaking, until your brain is filled with numbers and fractions … Read More

Nobody Beats Us! served as our main trigger… We practiced using trigger words, private verbal keys, which unlocked certain thoughts for us. We had a half-dozen phrases-some dealt with maintaining our technique, two dealt with maintaining our technique, two dealt with our stroke rating. The most powerful phrase was ‘Nobody Beats Us!’ According to our plan, when I said these words to Paul toward the end of the race, we would immediately shift into our final sprint, rowing as high and hard as possible, straight through, until we crossed the finish line.

“Nobody Beats Us! served as our main trigger… We practiced using trigger words, private verbal keys, which unlocked certain thoughts for us. We had a … Read More