"Be yourself, crack the odd joke even if at your own expense, maintain 'discipline' by working them hard."
What would the sport of rowing do without volunteers like Dudley Feather? Not only does Dudley coach at his old school of Prince Henry's School in Otley every week, he also supports our RowLeeds Indoor Rowing Championships, acting as MC and all-round technical handyman. We are proud to have the capability, fun attitude and rowing experience of Dudley on our side. Home Grown. World Class.
Who is Dudley?
I'm Dudley. I was born in Askwith, West Yorkshire and live in Ilkley where I work as a handyman. I enjoy hill walking, scrambling, climbing, skiing and cycling. Oh and I play guitar and sing too!
What's your experience as a rower?
I started rowing in 1981 at the Polytechnic of Central London and Quintin. What I love about rowing is its all round fitness building and crewing a good quad, 4+ or eight; there is nothing quite like the feeling of efficiently applied power and the speed it generates, especially if you are winning!
Why did you get involved in the RowLeeds programme as a volunteer coach?
I was already coaching junior learn to row at Leeds when Ben asked me if I would be interested in coaching. It seemed a good plan and coaching at my old school is great.
What are your main responsibilities this year as a coach on the programme?
I am coaching Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley on Mondays after school. The enthusiasm seems to be building and we have some good technicians who are becoming fitter and over 20 attendees each week. At the moment I focussing on strength, conditioning and technique with the ergo being part of the circuit.
What would you say have been your main highlights of coaching on the programme?
It's great to see young people make a start and then see them improve week on week and most importantly that they have the desire and motivation to continue to improve.
What do you think are the personal attributes a coach needs to be successful on this type of programme?
I think personality plays a big part and that you keep it fun, motivational and speak with the kids at their level.
What do you think are the personal attributes a young athlete needs to be successful in rowing?
Willingness to learn, willingness to help others learn and motivation.
What tips would you give our new coaches?
Be yourself, crack the odd joke even if at your own expense, maintain 'discipline' by working them hard. Try create a vision of rowing success be it indoor or on the water.
Do you have any personal objectives this year?
I would like my school to win the Victor Ludorum at the indoor championships, we have a strong and growing squad.
Who is your rowing idol and why?
Steve Redgrave – his focus on the end result and the mentality to overcome immense pain and physical issues to win. I am always inspired by great leaders.
If you could change one thing about the world of rowing, what would it be?
All my training sessions would be conducted in the sunshine and a nice 18C water temperature.
At RowUK, we are driven by our mission: "For our crews to win on the water and for our young people to achieve in life" If you could give RowUK one piece of advice, what would it be?
I think to truly inspire young people to row, they need to get a taster session on the water. I know RowUK is working with its partners to seek ways to support this in the future.
Want to find out more about coaching with us next year? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the RowLeeds Indoor Programme
Find out more about the RowLeeds Indoor Champs