by Christina Meyer
Day 1 of Sparks Winter Sweep Camp is in the books! It has been a very long day for many of the campers that have traveled from all across the US and Canada. Many athletes, with some families in tow, awoke in the wee hours of the morning to fly into San Diego and arrived to sunny blue skies and mild temperatures. What a beautiful day to start camp!
Camp officially began with orientation and introductions to all of the coaches and staff. We are lucky to have Jeff Collett from UCSD, Cory Bosworth from Harvard-Radcliffe, and Vita Scaglione from Oregon State coaching our rowers, while Laura Simon coaches the coxswains. Coach Simon with Sparks Consulting and is a US Junior National Team coach. Dave Payne and Christina Meyer of Sparks Consulting and Dani Thole of Lake Casitas Rowing Club round out the staff positions.
After introductions, we walked the short distance from the hotel to the San Diego Rowing Club (home of USD and UCSD rowing programs) for practice. The athletes were introduced to a dynamic warmup on land, how to conduct a proper warmup for yourself on the erg, and finally a short rowing assessment done through 5 erg pieces. After the ergs were cleaned and put away, everyone got the lay of the land (or, water) and went out for a short row, where we were greeted by a spectacular sunset.
After a pizza dinner at the boathouse (with pizza slices as big as one’s head!), we talked about the use of training journals and setting goals for oneself at camp. At Sparks we emphasize taking ownership over your own experience. Tracking workouts and setting goals helps to encourage athletes to be the agents of their own experience.
Day 2 begins in a few short hours; off to bed!