Winter Coxswains Only Camp

Winter Coxswains Only San Diego 2016 Overview

The focus is exclusively on coxswains

This 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 (see below) 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.

To see our camp blog from past camps, click here.

Advanced coaching from elite coxswains

As coxswains know, there are few elites out there – and even then, the education received can be hard to come by because it can’t be done on the water in the course of a normal practice. Our coxswain coaches are some of the top in the world: they have been to the world championships and the Olympics. They’ve given years of their lives – both young and adult – to the seat.

Even though we could hold a camp similar to this without this staff and make it revolutionary given the concept of exclusive coxswain focus, we believe our staff rounds camp up to the best level of coxswain coaching in the world.

A curriculum years in the making

We made a decision early on at Sparks to help coxswains by taking a serious look at creating a concrete system for coxswain education and employing it via our camps, virtual coxswain coaching, and college counseling. After years of fine-tuning and employing this system, we’re happy to utilize the best pieces in person.

Coxswains can expect to learn in much the same way as doctors doing rounds in teaching hospitals. They will be put in small groups with their attending coach and present to the group during on water exercises throughout the week.

Awareness: We believe awareness is the most important aspect of coxing because all coxswains are self-taught. We learn from our surroundings – from what our coaches and athletes are saying, and what we’re feeling and seeing inside, outside, and around the shell. Our curriculum emphasizes awareness via daily, detailed analysis of everything from digital recordings to inward reflections during training.

Steering: Steering is absolutely essential for coxswains: the fastest distance between two points is a straight line. Beyond that, safety and shell integrity are at stake. We utilize buoyed and non-buoyed courses as well as teach steering in different wind conditions. The curriculum also addresses turns for head racing.

Organization: We teach coxswains how to organize their boats effectively on the water and off to make sure they’re running efficient and effective practices and maximize potential boat speed. We measure organization by making sure that coxswains communicate clearly and effectively to achieve objectives and goals established by coaches and the team.

Direction: If you can’t hear your commander on the battlefield, chaos will ensue; coxswains must construct clean and effective command structures. Coxswains are shown how to most effectively give a command and execute it in real-time scenarios on the water. Coxswains are also taught how to evaluate their audio recordings to find their own personal structure.

Winter Coxswains Only San Diego Coaching Staff

Kristin Kit

Kristin Kit
Coxswain, Rowing Canada

The subject of a Canadian newspaper article entitled, “Kit Anything but an Overnight Sensation” (yes, rowing makes the headlines in other countries), Kristin’s sites are set on the Canadian Women’s 8+ for 2016. To gain entry to the boat, she would need to beat out seven time Canadian women’s olympic coxswain Lesley Thompson. And yet, she continues towards her goal. She has coxed with the women’s CanAmEx (Canada/US/Mexico) team as well as the Canadian Under-23 national team. She is currently based in British Columbia after a stint working for FISA (the international rowing body) in Switzerland.


Katelin Snyder

Katelin Snyder
Women’s Coxswain, US National Team

Katelin is a former Winter Park (FL) coxswain and a two-time IRA national collegiate champion. During her college career, Katelin also served as a U23 national team coxswain, winning two golds and a bronze at the U23 world champs. After college, Katelin went on to win gold medals at the 2009 world championships and the 2010 world cup in the women’s 8+. From 2010 to 2012, Katelin served as the assistant coach and recruiter for the Loyala Marymount women in California. She is back in the coxswain’s seat and currently vying for a spot in the 2014 US women’s 8+ with an eye to the 2016 Olympics.


Malcolm Doldron

Coxswain Coach, US Jr. Nat. Development Team
Head Coach LWT Women’s Rowing, Boston University

We’re lucky to have Malcolm in Oklahoma this year. Prior to assuming the head coaching slot for BU’s new LW women’s program, Malcolm served as the women’s assistant coach at Columbia University for four years while also working as the coxswain coach for the US women’s junior national team development camp. Prior to that, Malcolm coached at Princeton University for two years. A former coxswain himself, he coached junior rowing from 1999-2005 in DC. Born in New York, raised in DC, but now living in Boston, he has not yet claimed allegiance to the Yankees or Red Sox.


Leigh Carroll

US National Team
Sparks Coxswain Associate

Leigh Carroll is a former Division 1 and National Team coxswain who has coached on both the junior and collegiate levels. After a successful career coxing the Brown Men’s varsity 8+, she held coaching positions with Wayland-Weston Rowing Association and the Harvard-Radcliffe lightweight women’s team. An experienced international racer, Leigh also coxed the US women’s 8+ to a second-place finish in Australia at the Samsung World Cup after helping the U23 national team to a bronze finish at the World Championships and Brown to a second-place finish in the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Education from Stanford University with a concentration in Secondary School Teaching.


Winter Coxswains Only San Diego Details

  • Who:  Open to all, designed for experienced coxswains aged 14-19
  • When:  December 27-30, 2016
  • Cost:  $1,750*
  • Where:  San Diego, CA - Campers are housed at the Bahia Hotel (Top Gun also stayed here during filming) and row out of the San Diego Rowing Club on Mission Bay, which is walkable from the lodging. Campers are advised to fly into SAN; contact us to if you need airport transportation.
  • Questions:  Email camp@sparksconsult.com
  • Supervision:  The staff lives amongst the student athletes, and has oversight 24 hours a day. Unhealthy substances and/or behaviors are strictly prohibited.
  • Travel Help:  Sparks works with a travel agency to make planning easier. To find out more, click here; STA charges a small flat fee.
  • Payment:  May be made at RegattaCentral.com. Feel free to contact us with payment questions.
  • Refunds:  Refunds minus a $500 deposit are available until one month before camp.
  • Camp Forms:  Camp Forms may be found here 6 weeks before camp.
  • Staffing:  Some coaches are active US athletes; their availability may be subject to change. To find out about a particular coach, shoot us an e-mail.
  • * on Cost:  Reflects athlete rental expense.

Winter Coxswains Only San Diego Registration

December 27-30, 2016

Junior Coxwains College Coxwains
Open Open

Winter Coxswains Only San Diego Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
10AM - 2 PM Travel to Camp 7AM - 11:15AM Breakfast/Cox 7AM - 11:15AM Breakfast/Cox 7AM - 10:30AM Breakfast/Cox
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Coach/Student 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM Coach/Student Meetings 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Coach/Student Meetings
12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch 11:00AM - 12:00PM Lunch
2:00PM - 3:00PM Check-In 1:15PM - 2:15PM Private Coaching 1:15PM - 2:15PM Private Coaching 12:15PM - 2:30PM Coxing
3:00PM - 7:00PM Orientation & Coxswain Assessment 2:30PM - 5:30PM Coxing 2:30PM - 5:30PM Coxing 2:45PM - 3:15 PM Camp Closing
7:00PM - 7:30PM Dinner 5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 5:45PM - 6:30PM Dinner 3:15PM-4:15PM Individual Feedback Collection
8:00PM - 8:45PM Awareness Conversation 7:00PM - 7:45PM Steering Conversation 7:00PM - 7:45PM Organization Conversation
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Camp Forms


Our waiver and residency agreement/code of conduct are emailed to you at time of registration by RegattaCentral via DocuSign. These may be filled out online and cannot be accepted as printed forms. Please email us if you do not receive them after registering.

The only form that needs to be printed and brought to camp is the health history below.


The travel and goals forms should be filled out and submitted here prior to camp.