By Ryan Sparks · August, 2012
Camp moves into a rhythm at some point during the week. Kids know where they’re supposed to be and when. Training starts and ends and boats move in and out of the boathouse without much hand holding. Everyone understands what’s expected of them. The water was gloriously flat this morning, with cool breezes but temps that went up to the high 80s and a mugginess that made it fairly hot. See the photo below to check out the water.
We took the kids out in the morning for a long row then elected to use the afternoon for the intellectual side of camp and give them a break from the heat. An hour and three quarter conversation on recruiting amongst the rowers and their staff and the coxswains and their staffs (separately) took place. Kids were engaged very frankly on the process, its timeline, the pitfalls families encounter, and what’s expected of them (and their families). For the parents reading this, it’s most important for you to understand that recruiting is not like LAX, football, or basketball — we as coaches don’t go out talent hunting, working to sweep the highest level athletes into our programs. The demand is such to row in college that the largest two requirements from coaches in the recruiting process are 1) to develop a sense of trust with kids and 2) that kids are truly interested in their schools for the right reasons — which extend far beyond rowing. As the economy of the ‘market’ is on the coaches’ side creating so demand to row in college, when they encounter families who expect to be ‘sold’ it is immediately a turn off for coaches given it does not show an understanding of the nature of our sport — or frankly a very good take on humility.
After recruiting, the kids went to dinner and then returned to the dorm to split up into small groups and do video analysis on international crews, Nutrition, Erg Training, or “Coxswain stuff.” Generally these small groups allow coaches to enjoy the kids on a fairly natural level. After that, bed. We expect high energy and retention on the water tomorrow and for that to continue through the racing on Saturday.