This morning, our athletes hit the water for the first time since they have arrived at Wesleyan. Each of four men’s eights and two women’s eights practiced with their own coach through the morning and afternoon sessions.
This week will not be particularly physically rigorous for the rowers. Instead, we offer them access to a wide array of viewpoints about the basic rowing stroke. Like any high-level conference attended by the best and brightest in an industry, our camp will have its biggest impact on the athletes over the long term.
How so? Athletes will systematically improve their rowing at their home crews by using the lessons that they pick up here. We have supplied notebooks for the athletes to take notes, and at the end of the week each rower will receive a summary of the feedback from each coach they have throughout the week.
So while rowers don’t undergo exhausting physical training here, mental reprogramming requires real rigor; it’s hard to focus for two hours in the morning and another hour and a half in the afternoon.
To help with that, tonight Ryan Sparks talks to athletes about our principles of development: the characteristics that athletes need to succeed at, and benefit from, their rowing careers. Rowing is not like other sports: we practice for hours and hours to compete for five or six minutes. We readily expose ourselves to pain. Nevertheless, long-time rowers cannot imagine a pursuit more inspiring than rowing. Our staff here at Sparks are in that group. and they want to pass on that inspiration to our athletes here at camp.