F. M. Alexander in UCL
F. M. Alexander critisises the attitude of rowers in a picture published in The Evening Standard in 1939 with the caption ‘Determination mirrored in their faces’, and reproduced in UCL. Alexander writes:
I have carefully studied the expression on the faces of the young men in the picture, but have failed to ﬁnd any justification for the above caption. Four of them look as if they were being tortured on the rack, three as if in a trance, and just one, the third from the left, as if he had taken part in a rowing race and had the right attitude towards a rowing contest. Surely a university boat race should be a friendly contest between men animated by the sporting instinct. Every one of them should wish the victory to go to the best crew. It should be an experience of pleasure, happiness, and healthy recreation to all concerned, not an unnatural struggle involving distortion and loss of consciousness through the ‘determination’ to gain an end even at the cost of personal exhaustion and damage.
Writings – Articles
‘Rowing for gold’ by Gwen Dobie, Val Thompson Williams; rowing masters gold medalist, Val Thompson, writes on her experiences of using the Technique in her rowing (single scull and double scull).
‘Making rowing training safer and more effective’ by Patrick Pearson; an Alexander Technique teacher and rowing coach on the need for re-evaluating training practices in rowing.
‘Olympic gold for F. M. Alexander’ by Caroline Chisholm reports on giving Alexander Technique lessons to members of Great Britain’s coxless rowing team who won four gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Writings – Books
Master the Art of Working Out by Malcolm Balk, Andrew Shields contains a section on the rowing machine.