Alex McMullen |

Overcoming race day nerves

Every rower who chooses to compete, regardless of their level, experiences pre-race nerves. However, these jitters are perhaps most acutely felt among those who learn to row as adults, and women in particular. Alex McMullen outlines some race day fears we can all relate to, and explores some handy strategies to keep these at bay

Common race day fears

Fear of under-performing

Race day brings a totally new set of mental roadblocks that are absent from training. Becca Sproston of Newnham College BC, Cambridge, felt an equal sense of eagerness and apprehension when she first got into a boat for a race. “You can’t help worrying that you’re going to catch a crab, rush up the slide, or run out of steam partway down the course,” she highlighted. “The nerves creep in at head races in particular, when you’re waiting on the water for up to hours on end before you start.”


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