At Sparks Consulting, we develop the rowing community with unparalleled collegiate guidance counseling, rowing camps, and coxswain education. Our Olympians and former collegiate coaches have one goal: to inspire. This December, we are offering two Winter Rowing Camps that provide unique, exclusive experiences for rowers that simply can’t be found anywhere else.
Our Winter Coxswains Only Camp is a rowing camp where coxing skills are the only focus. For this winter camp, we run an abbreviated version of our 5 day summer program in Oklahoma City – this is amongst the most intensive options we offer for coxswains.
Sparks ‘rents’ the team: boats and athletes (and they win too, with a fundraiser.) Entire on water practices are spent on absolutely everything that goes with being the ninth seat. The art of steering, command structure, docking, dealing with conditions, and interpreting drills are only the tip of the iceberg. Coxswains only gives us a chance to focus more intensely on the advanced curriculum we’ve developed and use at our summer camp at Wesleyan, summer coxswains only camp in Oklahoma City, and fill a need we’ve seen from many coxswain and college counseling clients. Details on the December 27-30 program at the San Diego Rowing Club on Mission Bay can be found here.
Our brand new Measured Feedback Camp is the first rowing camp to offer rowers and coxswains objective feedback on areas to improve, from fitness to technique. This camp deviates from the standard model in order to provide athletes with more detailed, holistic feedback. Rowers use standard ergometer testing protocols combined with new on-water technology that measures a rower’s power on the water. Coxswains are assessed using a set rubric created by our coxswain educators. The data from the assessments are combined to create a profile for each athlete.
At the end of camp, athletes meet individually with coaches to review their profiles. Profiles are used to score and percentile rank rowers and coxswains, provide feedback to help athletes prepare for the upcoming season, and impart perspective as to athletes’ development over the course of their rowing career.
With the introduction of new oarlock technology from NK and OarInspired, it is now possible to quantify and score an athlete’s ability to place force on the blade in the water. In other words, to measure a rower’s ability to move a boat. As such, we have asked Nich Parker (Head Coach, Columbia LWT Men’s Rowing; current national champions – Ph.D candidate in Group Biomechanics) and Andrew Carter (Head Coach, Iowa Women’s Rowing – MA in Biomechanics – Rowing Canada Level IV Coach – author of Rowing Canada’s coaching education program) to help us design the first short skills development camp in rowing where athletes receive feedback based off quantified land and water measures – producing a truly holistic profile. Details on the December 27-30 program at Orlando’s University of Central Florida can be found here.