bg-3 2013 Coxswains Only Day One, Week One

2013 Coxswains Only Day One, Week One

By Ryan Sparks and Chelsea Dommert · June, 2013

It’s a new camp summer for all of us here at Sparks, and we’re happy to bring it in with our coxswain camp in Oklahoma City. People often ask, “why have a coxswain camp in Oklahoma City?!,” but I believe the kids can vouch for that after only a day here. The facilities are bluntly the best in the country – both in terms of educational space and training space. The people couldn’t be friendlier, the accommodations are at a Marriott two minutes from the boathouses, the community as a whole benefits as we use camp tuition to help developing junior and senior athletes in an under-served part of the country, and finally – where else can we find the US national team training beside our campers?

All of the June coxswains only campers  arrived safe and sound in Oklahoma City. Under sunny blue skies and a bright, hot sun, we headed down to the Oklahoma City Regatta Park for a tour.

Oklahoma City’s rowing facilities are among the most advanced in the country, including two beautiful, state-of-the-art boathouses, a fully lit sprint course, tanks, and fitness rooms. We happen to be training here at the same time as the high-performance athletes who are undergoing the final days of selection for the upcoming World Championships. The racks hold multiple boats with the U.S. World Rowing sticker on their sides.

This is an intensive camp; we have a lot to cover and very little time. So, naturally, the training has already begun. This afternoon, Marcus and Laura introduced the camp material. The athletes egan with a few group exercises to collectively define the most important quality of an excellent coxswain. We’ll continue returning to that quality throughout the week as the athletes develop new skills in steering, execution, and technique.

Pens were smoking throughout the room as folks took copious notes. We followed up on that initial session after dinner with some question-and answer, where Marcus talked about several useful tenets – mostly with funny stories from his own experience.

Tomorrow we hit the water, and the real work begins. Get excited. It’s only day one

Below you can find links to learn more about Sparks Rowing camps.

Learn more about our coxswain’s only rowing camp by following the link.  Or, read some excerpts from the the coxswain only rowing camp blog.  Our next round of summer rowing camp information can be found here.  Follow this link for information on our New Zealand rowing camp and here for their NZ camp blog (with some great videos).  We also have some great information on our winter rowing camp  and you can get another perspective through our blog on the advanced winter rowing camp here.

Lastly, if you’re interested in our consulting services, we help guide college bound high school athletes through the college recruiting process for rowing colleges and universities.  Learn more at or about the phenomenal staff at Sparks.

Thanks for sharing!