bg-3 Success


By Ryan Sparks · August, 2012

We only knew this idea would work in theory. Entire practices where coxing was the exclusive focus and the rowers facilitated that rather than the other way around. There was bound to be a catch.

Well, there’s not.

Today was incredibly productive. The morning session lasted about two hours and we used our wonderful venue to perfect head racing turns through bridges, straight steering on the buoyed course, and learn the fundamentals of docking and making the right calls to dock well in an eight by simply just docking it many, many times. We used stern coxed boats, bow coxed boats, 4+’s, 8+’s and every steering system imaginable. It was all about our coxswains.

After that, our group watched video analysis of the session and did the lecture portion of the morning before eating lunch and heading back to the hotel for our mid-day break. The kids slept or hung out at the pool before their one on one meetings and return to the boathouse for the afternoon. The afternoon practice was hot, no doubt about it — but as we said before, we believe there’s something to that (as long as we treat our rowers well and keep them hydrated as well as ourselves!). Again, a productive session — commentary from our staff and quick switches allowed coxswains to compare themselves to one another in a safe environment.

We retired from the heat just in time to watch a rain storm roll in over the plains of Oklahoma and move through the video analysis for the afternoon before listening to Marcus and Ned speak about coxswain/coxswain, coxswain/coach, and coxswain/athlete relationships as well as Olympic selection and how it was to vie against one another for the seat. We went to dinner and then used our evening session to spend an hour talking specifically about the collegiate recruiting process for coxswains. All in all, an incredible day. The amount we’ve been able to achieve here may be attributed to the quality of our staff, our venue, and potentially… our campers!

Below, find a picture of Marcus working through the head race steering group’s points and progress with the class after the morning row.

Below you can find links to learn more about Sparks Rowing camps.

Learn about our coxswain’s only camp here or get a better feel for the experience by reading some excerpts from the rowing cox blog.  Here’s a link to our next round of sparks summer camp information.  Follow this link for information on our New Zealand rowing camp and here for their NZ camp blog (with some great videos).  We also have some great information on our winter rowing camp  and you can get another perspective through our blog on the advanced winter rowing camp here.


Thanks for sharing!