Today kicked off another year of Sparks Rowing Camps at Wesleyan University. The weather here has been warm, but the forecast for the week should be cooler with a lot of good rowing. Coaches met earlier in the morning to go over the schedule for the week, as campers arriving from the airport were shuttled straight to Clark Hall. Construction around Middletown well as at Wesleyan University caused campers to arrive all at the same time! Therefore, registration was packed, and fortunately our counselors were there to get campers off to their rooms with Sparks gear and onto the first meeting of the afternoon.
Following introductions, athletes and coxswains were split into their training groups for rowing assessments. Coaches put athletes through a body weight movement screen to assess how they move, and well as a technical evaluation on the rowing ergometer. Boys headed down to the Macomber Boathouse while Girls walked over to the Freeman Athletic Center. Following the technical evaluation, athletes went through an ergometer workout that tested their consistency as well as their endurance.
At Sparks Rowing Camps, coxswain training and education is very important, and our two coxswain coaches, Coach Malcolm Doldron and Coach Marcus McElhenney, do an excellent job of identifying the strengths of each individual coxswain as well as helping them identify areas for improvement. Coxswains introduced themselves, and coaches asked specific questions to see how each coxswain responded. Feedback was given on “how” they answered because how a coxswain delivers a command is just as important if not more important that what they say.
Following the assessments, athletes and coxswains traveled to the Usdan Center, where they will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Campers headed back to Clark Hall for showers before our traditional ice cream social, an opportunity for campers to break the ice and get to know one another before the first full day at Sparks. Counselors set up some fun ice breakers before campers dug into the ice cream spread that Sparks set up for them. After ice cream, a little frisbee, and a little fun, the campers headed back into Clark Hall to get some sleep before Day 2.