Team boat selection

This post was pulled from a team selection discussion I had with an OC coach I am working with on Maui. We were discussing the difficulties in objectively evaluating team boat skills.

We often overlook the importance of team boat skills. In kayak (and rowing) coaches often select their top team boats by;

  1. top solo performers over a similar duration bracket (i.e. long distance team boat race requires a long distance solo race TIME TRIAL. No drafting, no surfing)
  2. the solo contenders are mixed into tandem teams to measure team skills. Weak combinations are the key. If you have a pool of 12 paddlers, each will be expected to do at least 11 combinations in training and the good combinations are then used in time trials and the bad combinations noted to help ID potential team skill weaknesses. This stage could take 3+ months and they are still not in big boats.
  3. move to big boat combinations looking to overlap the best tandem combinations for example;

OC 1
Luke TT 23:20
Don TT 23:30
Tyson TT 23:34
JJ TT 21:20
Wallis TT 24:10
Grommet TT 23:40
Rob TT 23:29

OC 2
Luke/Don TT 21:20 faster than both OC1 TT
Luke/Tyson TT 23:40 combo slower than both OC1 TT
Luke/JJ TT 21:10 should have been faster given JJ’s OC1 TT
Luke/Wallis TT 21:12 fast considering Wallis’ TT was slowest
Luke/Grommet TT 22:40 faster than both OC1 TT
Luke/Rob TT 23:05 combo slower than Luke OC1 TT, faster than Rob’s
AVERAGE FOR LUKE (stroke) 22:11

Don/Luke TT 20:59 faster than both OC1 TT
Tyson/Luke TT 23:45 combo slower than both OC1 TT
JJ/Luke TT 20:50 should have been faster given JJ’s OC1 TT
Wallis/Luke TT 21:01 fast considering Wallis’ TT was slowest
Grommet/Luke TT 22:00 faster than both OC1 TT
Rob/Luke TT 22:58 combo slower than Luke OC1 TT, faster than Rob’s
AVERAGE FOR LUKE (seat 2) 21:55

Don/Luke TT 20:59 (as above Don/Luke Combo)
Don/Tyson TT 23:30 combo slower than Don OC1 TT, faster than Tyson’s
Don/JJ TT 21:05 should have been faster given JJ’s OC1 TT
Don/Wallis TT 21:45 fast considering Wallis’ TT was slowest
Don/Grommet TT 21:59 faster than both OC1 TT
Don/Rob TT 24:29 combo slower than both OC1 TT
AVERAGE FOR DON (Stroke) 22:17

Luke/Don TT 21:20 (as above Luke/Don combo)
Tyson/Don TT 23:40 combo slower than Don OC1 TT, faster than Tyson’s
JJ/Don TT 20:05 faster than both OC1 TT
Wallis/Don TT 20:45 fast considering Wallis’ TT was slowest
Grommet/Don TT 22:59 faster than both OC1 TT
Rob/Don TT 24:59 combo slower than both OC1 TT
AVERAGE FOR DON (seat 2) 22:18

And so on, until you’ve tried all 42 possible 1-2 combinations. From this we see good and bad combos emerging. On the surface it looks like Luke is a better stroke and two seat than Don. However, if we remove the worst combination from each- we get a different picture;

Luke stroke 22:00
Don stroke 21:51
Luke 2 21:33
Don 2 21:45

Doing a full on proper team selection is a long and time consuming process. But in the end you learn were to put the paddlers for optimal results.

Looking at the incomplete chart, we could seat people as follows based on tandem time trial results. Now the tricky bit is deciding if you build you crew around best time clusters OR go for fastest average tandem times for 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6. Using best tandem times we would go with: JJ-Don-Luke-Wallis.

If we finished that OC2 matrix we’d be able to pick out next two guys and pick a couple of other combinations to try out.
Alan Carlsson
Engineered Athlete Services

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: