Day 1 is complete at the first Penn Rowing Camp at the University of Pennsylvania! Over 60 athletes and coxswains made their way to Philadelphia, PA this afternoon from all over the country, and were able to experience first hand what a Division 1 university and rowing program had to offer. Athletes and coxswains checked in this afternoon at Harrison College House, and immediately headed over to the Tse Ping-Cheng Cheung Ling Center and Hutchinson Gymnasium, which houses the Ted A. Nash Land Rowing Center, and is home to the rowing teams at UPenn.
Athletes and Coxswains were introduced to this week’s coaching staff, before heading into the multiple team “erg” rooms and onto the indoor rowing tanks for their team assessment. The goal was simply to give everyone a chance to use the equipment and to get an idea of the rowing experience of each athlete. Coxswains met with the coxswain coaches to go over the schedule for the week and prepare for the AM rowing session.
At Sparks Camps, we encourage our campers to arrive at camp with a list of goals they would like to achieve at camp as well as long term. These goals can be related to rowing, academics, or personal goals. In our first session, we encourage our campers to share their goals with the coaching staff so they are able to verbalize them as well as determine how to achieve them. Over the course of the week, athletes and coxswains will have the opportunity to meet with coaches and refine their goals. One-on-One sessions are voluntary, though we at Sparks encourage athletes to sign up for multiple slots each day.
One tool that helps athletes and coxswains refine their goals, record feedback, and reflect on their experience at camp is the Notebooks that we hand out at the start of camp. By using the notebook, athletes and coxswains can hold themselves accountable for what they learn at camp. We encourage everyone to “fill” their notebooks because learning happens all throughout camp and require athletes and coxswains to be present each session. We empower them to take charge of their goals and overall development.
In addition to training, the theme of the week will be “recovery.” Coach Anderson Bourell is our recovery coach, and he works with athletes and coxswains between sessions to teach them how to recover, and prepare their bodies for the next training session. Mixed in the recovery sessions are a bit of fun! Follow the initial session, everyone was treated to pizza on the grounds in front of College Hall at the center of campus. It was a great time for everyone to get to know each other, and the weather was perfect.
Athletes and coxswains returned to Harrison College House, and then finished the evening with ice breakers and our traditional Ice Cream Social. Overall the first day was a success, and we are looking forward to getting on the water in the morning.
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Looking forward to a great week!