Yale Coach Steve Gladstone on Early Career and Ratzburg Method

Yale University, USA

1 minute watch
Words Benedict Tufnell
Published 06.01.20

Steve Gladstone is one of the premier rowing coaches in the United States having led crews to more IRA wins than any coach in the history of collegiate rowing. Gladstone currently coaches at Yale University where his Varsity eight has won the last three IRA titles on the trot.

In a recent video interview for the Rowing Resource Podcast, recorded at Yale’s Gilder Boat House, Gladstone recounts the early days of his fledgling career after taking his first coaching job at Princeton University in 1966. Gladstone reveals he was initially turned down for the Freshman Coach position at Dartmouth a year and a half earlier and so took a job at an advertising agency in New York whilst “probing the rowing world – which at that time was much smaller than it is today” looking for a job. Gladstone says he eventually got the Princeton job “by default” after two others turned it down.

Gladstone describes his early approach to coaching as “largely spontaneous” and that he didn’t really have a plan, although he loosely followed the German Ratzburg method. Speaking in the Youtube video Gladstone says “What was in vogue at that time was the Ratzburg Methodology… Very high rating, short stroke, interval training and that was considered to be the way to go. Of course that was later on proven to be a gross error.”

See an excerpt from the Steve Gladstone interview below.

Video Steve Gladstone speaks to Rowing Resource Podcast