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Arne Gullich: Considering long term sustainability in talent promotion

Arne Gullich talk on Considering long term sustainability in talent promotion – Implications for talent development in rowing.

In particular, when should one specialise in sport. His premise was based on the following:

Specialisation, variability and volume:

-       Is there an ideal age to start rowing? If so, when?

-       What is the optimal volume of training and competition?

-       Variety in sports activities or specialisation for young athletes.

-       Short term and the long term effects of specialisation and variability..   

Gullich is a protagonist of a recent “diversification theory” rather than that of “deliberate practice”. Citing that a child’s participation in multiple sports tend to lead to long-term performance benefits.  

Gullich made an effective reference to British Rowing’s “Sporting Giants” talent transfer programme which focused on Athletes aged 18 to 23. Here, Gullich identified that who met the world class level bench mark (More below) could learn specific skills at an older age and be successful at an elite level. 

More about British Rowing’s Sporting Giants:

This ground-breaking talent identification programme was established in 2001 with funding from the Lottery Sports Fund with the aim to build the future of the GB Rowing Team by identifying and developing potential Olympians.  Start’s most recent successes have been at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with almost a third of the Team GB Rowers having come through the programme.  Start supported rowers came away with five golds and a bronze from Team GB’s most successful Olympic Regatta of all time:

Helen Glover


Women's Pair                                                                                   

Heather Stanning


Women's Pair

Anna Watkins


Women's Double

Alex Gregory


Men's Four

Kat Copeland


Lightweight Women's Double

Moe Sbihi


Men's Eight

Specific bench marks for Men:

188cm (6'2"): 14 - 20 years old. 

Specific bench marks for Women:

178cm (5'10") 14 - 22 years old.

Lightweights are only tested if they are exceptionally athletic. 

More about the program on the British Rowing website.

More talks for the Youth Coaching Conference:

Arne Gullich's presentation on Considering long term sustainability in talent promotion – Implications for talent development in rowing.'

Marc Swienty's presentation on the Olympic training centre and rowing boarding school Ratzeburg: Structures and objectives.’ 

Mario Woldt on Actual aspects and considerations of ethics in sport.

Klaus Mattes on: ‘Diagnostic of rowing performance and technique to optimise technique training

Nina Schaffert on: 'Visual and auditory / acoustic feedback to optimise rowing technique and boat acceleration'


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