By Ryan Sparks · August, 2012
Today started beautifully. 75 for most of the morning with delicious cool breezes. The kids came down to the boathouse, quietly separated into their groups — girls, boys, coxswains — and did the thing their groups did. The girls went through a dynamic stretching routine similar to the one run at the US Women’s Junior National Team development camp. The boys moved launches into the water and then went through their own stretching. The coxswains quietly sat in a circle while their coaches walked them through the day, and a few principles to adhere by. And the coaches sat in their offices debating and aligning the line-ups and coordinated workouts for the morning. Then stretching stopped, announcements were made, and boats launched. It is very nice to be involved in such a quiet, focused rhythm, and makes everyone happy when things proceed that way.
It’s at this point in the camp when we begin to see fatigue — the training and requirements of really engaging the camp on the intensive level required by the five days begins to make the kids (and staff) tired. Just as in rowing, the question is not whether they will grow tired, but how they handle it and how the rest is structured to bring them through it.
Downtime during the day becomes more important, and frisbees, etc are actually important for the camp. Our classroom time today (see the picture) was spent listening to Gregg Hartstuff (Michigan Men) speak about how erg scores actually influence boat speed on the water, and how to calculate a weight adjusted score, lower one’s score, and predictive workouts for 2Ks. The level of instruction was fairly high (even the coaches from other famed schools were taking notes) — and yet the kids responded to it as he used examples from workouts on Monday and engaged them on their own situations.