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Community Rowing, Inc.

  • Advanced Certificate in Rowing Leadership
  • The 'What Works' Summit
  • Monthly Coaching Education Series
  • Leadership Workshop
  • CRI Coach Certification
  • Certificate in Community Building for Rowing
  • The Rowing Network

Third Tuesday of each month from 6:45-8:00pm (September - May)

All Greater Boston area coaches and rowers are encouraged to participate in a topical lecture/discussion on different aspects of the rowing stroke, training, and coaching. Presenters come from throughout New England to share their specific expertise on a wide range of topics that all come to bear on aspects of coaching. Events are open to both CRI coaches (free of charge) and to the wider rowing community for a $5 admission fee which includes food and drinks.

Upcoming Events

 tuesday, May 30th, 2017



Topic: Short Research Presentations on Action Research in Rowing

Featured Speakers: All Ten IRL Class of 2017 Fellows

Description: Each IRL fellow will share with the wider rowing community about their action research that they have been working on since January. With a charge to explore an aspect of rowing that they feel passionate about and that will advance the knowledge in the sport, fellows will be sharing new information from what they've learned.

Previous 2016 - 2017 Events 


Liz Cavanaugh



Topic: How Coaches Use Social Media to Communicate - With Their Team and With The World

Featured Speakers: Liz Cavanaugh - St. Mark's School & Ariel Handler - Community Rowing, Inc.

Description: Coaches, teams, and athletes of all ages can benefit from using the digital & social landscape. Effective coaches must learn to keep up with the relentless use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These contemporary platforms can be used as effective tools for recruiting, promotion, social analysis, and help manage large and small group communications with a click anytime of day or night. Conversely, the use of social media can become troublesome, complicated, ambiguous, time-sucking, and can result in negative consequences. 

Our evening's discussion will be hosted by a three-person coaching panel. These coaches will share their knowledge, stories, and suggestions for best practices in social media use. We will uncover (and teach you) how today's athletes and coaches are employing strategies to keep the positive power of social media on their side! 


 TUESDAY, january 17TH, 2017

Erin McConnell Class of 2013


Topic: Activation, Stability & Mobility for Improved Performance - Will be taught as an active workshop, so be ready to move!

Featured Speaker: Dr. Erin McConnell graduated from the Institute for Rowing Leadership in 2013 and immediately enrolled at the University of Connecticut. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and as part of her graduate studies, she did research on ACL injury prevention and the negative effects of sport specialization in adolescent soccer players. Before coming to the IRL, Erin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science Pre-professional and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.

While at Notre Dame, she was a member of the varsity women’s rowing team for four years where she won four Big East Championships and helped lead her team to it's first NCAA championship appearance in five years. Now, Erin works at Back on Track Physical Therapy in the Brookline and Newton clinics where she sees a variety of orthopedic diagnoses, but has a special interest in the treatment and prevention of rowing related injuries. 

Description: Injury prevention is extremely important in the sport of rowing and many coaches believe they are implementing techniques in order to keep their athletes healthy. However, despite the abundance of stretching & core strengthening done in daily practice, rowers are still getting injured...but why?

Dr. McConnell will discuss the often-neglected components of rowing injury prevention-proper gluteal activation, scapular stability, and thoracic spine mobility. The presentation will be a hands-on interactive workshop. You will gain the use of screening tools and exercises designed to help your athletes stay injury-free as training volume and intensities increase as spring training approaches. 

 TUESDAY, decEMBER 13TH, 2016



Topic: Managing the Risk to Injury Across the Lifespan

Featured Speakers: Kate Ackerman is the Director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children's Hospital, the Team Physician for CRI, and a member of the USRowing Medical Commission, traveling with the Junior, U23, and Senior National Teams.  She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and a former US Team lightweight rower. 

Denise Frost is the Manager of Spaulding Brighton, and has been managing rowing injuries for the past 15 years. She developed the Movement Health program at Spaulding Brighton and is also a movement coach with Coordination Dynamics Inc. She works alongside fitness and technical coaches to optimize performance and minimize the risk to injury of high school, college and masters athletes in the Boston area.

Description: Kate Ackerman, MD, MPH and Denise Frost PT, B.Pthy will be discussing the injuries many rowers experience and the risk factors that may predispose them to such injuries. They will discuss behavioral and training modifications that may minimize such risk as well as management of common injuries seen in our sport. This lecture is appropriate for those working with athletes from the youth to masters level, as it will focus on the most salient issues of each age group.

TueSDAY, novembeR 15TH, 2016

 Dr. John Livingstone

Topic: How to Open Doors of Communication with Rowers that Enhance Performance

Featured Speaker: Dr. John Livingstone - Physician, Psychotherapist, and Sculler at Harvard Medical School

Session Plan:

  1. A ROUTINE FOR COACHES in self-awareness and emotion regulation: Paving the way to effective communication by eliminating the toxins of judgments and shaming of your athletes (and yourself).
    1. Connect interpersonally (eye contact, affect contact)  (C)
    2. Ask rower what thought they have right now (or when off-water: what’s most important to them right now) (A)
    3. Name an emotion (s) they agree that they are holding. (N)
    4. Reflect-back, accurately, what you heard- without judgement or shaming.(R)
    5. Open the door for new information. (O)
    6. Wish your athlete wellness and self-care. (W)
  3. FOUR quick and useful steps for rowers to self-regulate thoughts and emotions in-the-moment that commonly hinder optimal body/mind performance and team work
  4. HOW coaches can INCLUDE IN THEIR COACHING PRACTICE teaching these skills to their rowers.  WHY do this???  The Science beyond meditation practices.
  • U-TURN
  • W-A-I-T (Why Am I Talking?)
  • FINDING LABELS FOR EMOTIONS (as compared to thoughts)

Copyright - John Livingstone, MD, Harvard Medical School, Orleans Sweeps and Sculls (Board of Directors)



 ODonovan Brothers Rio

Topic: #PullLikeADog

Featured Speakers: Gary and Paul O'Donovan - Irish Lightweight Men's 2x, Rio Silver Medalists

Description: Come and hear the story directly from the source on their journey to winning Ireland's first every rowing medal. The brothers will talk about both the training/preparation that led to a superior result in Rio, but also the challenges faced along the way as the road to success does not come in the form of a straight line.

We expect a big crowd for this event, so please RSVP here to make sure you get tickets.

And of course this... #PullLikeADog


 Brian Dawe Headshot

Topic: The Words We Use

Featured Speaker: Brian Dawe - Tufts University Women's Head Coach

Description: Words and phrases coaches use have an immediate and long-lasting effect on their athletes. This session will use a moderated, highly interactive format to discuss some of the options we have when describing rowing motions.

By exploring what we say, we will be forced to think more accurately about what happens after. Do you use the "finish" to talk about that part of the cycle? Do you even think and talk of rowing as a "cycle" ? I have found that "sit up" never produces the motion I want. Can you offer some alternatives? A very successful coach of IRA lightweights said recently that he has removed the word "preparation" from use. We don't want to get into a discussion of rowing styles, but there may be some overlap.

The primary question we'll explore together is .. does what I am saying to my athletes produce the effect I want?

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The Institute for Rowing Leadership and USRowing are official partners in coaching education.