Eights train at Sparks Rowing Development Camp on Lake Hayes in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Shot for camp film, “Get On With It.”) Winter Measured Feedback

Measured Feedback 2016 Winter Overview

Land and Water Based Athlete Scoring with Coaching

This camp utilizes new on-water technology combined with proven testing protocols to provide rowing athletes with quantifiable, holistic profiles.

Profiles are used to score and percentile rank rowers and coxswains, provide feedback specific to each profile to furnish benefit long after camp is over, and impart perspective as to athletes’ development based off results.

With the introduction of new oarlock technology from NK and OarInspired, it is now possible to quantify and score athletes’ ability to place force on the blade in the water. 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 may receive feedback based off quantified land and water measures – producing a truly holistic profile.

Camp also provides an opportunity to score coxswains based off their steering, organization, commands, and overall awareness.

Rowing Measures

Camp will kick off with an introduction to protocols and coaching on how to deal with measurement stress. Our goal is an accepting, positive, and sometimes fun environment where athletes may compete with themselves and measurement stress (which is absolutely normal) is minimized.

Water-based testing occurs in eights. Our ultimate measurement is athletes’ impulse power – that is, the force exerted by the blade in the water. Smart oarlock technology provides catch and release angles, power through the drive, angle of maximum power, and true lock-on and release points relative to the catch and finish. Athletes are scored on multiple factors then given a composite on-water score based off their impulse power.

Indoor testing will occur on the ergometer with standardized warm-ups and national team level testing protocols (2K, 6K, Peak Power). No one distance on the ergometer is important, and athletes should not expect to PR at any distance so much as work the whole composite battery.

Water and indoor results are then combined to profile, score, and percentile rank camp athletes; rankings are not publicly posted. Athletes then sit down with coaching staff and review their profile. Staff and students will be able to pinpoint top areas for improvement, discuss how to pursue those areas, and speak about development potential over time.

Coxing Measures

Coxswain scoring is undeniably more subjective – however, such is the nature of coxing. Expectations are based off our coxswain curriculum developed by Marcus McElhenney and two more Olympic medalist coxswains, multiple national team staff including Laura Simon (the junior national team coxswain coach), and our work with hundreds of coxswains over the last half-decade.

Prior to camp, coxswains are issued a guide to the specific aspects of steering, organization, and commands where points may be earned. Prior to protocol start at camp, coxswain coaches will further outline and clarify the guide’s standards. Coxswains are scored on steering, organization, and commands simultaneous to rowing protocols. After rowing protocols are complete, coxswains then also have a chance to score on their ability to reflect on their performance at camp and identify areas for future improvement.

Coxswains will also receive a camp percentile rank; rankings are not publicly posted. Again, athletes will then sit down with coaching staff and review their profile and imbalances. Staff and students will be able to pinpoint top areas for improvement, discuss how to pursue those areas, and speak about development potential over time.


We are of the opinion that everyone row in college if they find the right fit. As such, we seek to issue positive perspective that motivates each athlete insofar as their specific ability to improve and develop over time.

Athletes will develop a take-home performance improvement plan identifying the particular athletic (aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, etc.) or coxing (steering, organization, and command) skills they should seek to address for the coming season and some ideas on how to address them.

Our hope is that athletes will be able to utilize feedback from elite coaches to improve long after camp is over – thus providing longer term benefit than other short term rowing camp formats.

Measured Feedback Coaching Staff

Andrew Carter

Head Coach Women's Rowing, University of Iowa

Where to start here… Carter helped author Rowing Canada’s coaching education curriculum and the system is viewed as an international success – though that was 20 years ago. Since then, he’s coached on the international and collegiate level with the Canadian women, Vassar College, USC, Bates College, Clemson University, the University of Miami, and the University of Iowa. He also served as a regional coach in New Zealand. He holds a BA and MA in Kinesiology-Biomechanics and has argued with Volker Nolte (the only (other?) internationally known rowing biomechanist) on a monthly basis for the last twenty years about aspects of the sport that involve terms like “drag adjusted impulse” and that – if applied properly – could potentially generate a 0.003% increase speed over 10,000m.

Nich Parker

Head Coach, Columbia Lightweight Men

Beyond working on his Ph.D. in group biomechanics, Nich Parker holds an MA in Sports Administration and Pedagogy. Nich started coaching as a women’s coach at Ohio State before serving as the varsity assistant with the Yale heavyweight men for three years. After that, Nich worked with heavyweights at Columbia before assuming the freshman and now head position with their lightweight squad. He speaks fluent German and holds a fascination for how different (personality, nationality, or level) athletes approach workouts and the end affect of that approach. He acted as editor for rowing legend Jim Joy’s book, The Mind’s Eye.

Anderson Bourell

Rowing Specific Yoga and Holistic Health Instructor

The subject of a NYTimes piece on Mike Piazza, Anderson’s title is a little crazy, but it’s true. After prep school in Boston, baseball, and acting (he appeared in Fight Club) in his youth he choose to concentrate in holistic health – i.e. stretching, breathing, yoga, and nutrition – for rowing athletes. He is a known member of the community, attended Harvard training camps with Harry Parker for 10 years and has also been party to multiple New England prep schools’ efforts of the same nature. He has worked in the UK with junior athletes and with a variety of national teams. Anderson is not a typical rowing person in his concentration on holistic health or his approach, but he maintains a following that only lucky coaches enjoy.

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.

Measured Feedback Details

  • Who:  Designed for experienced juniors, 14-18; open to all.
  • Cost:  $1,050 for overnight campers
  • Dates:  December 27-30, 2016
  • Where:  Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida - An unparalleled boathouse compound including bays and indoor facilities and bouyed course. Campers will stay at the La Quinta Inn and Suites near the UCF campus.
  • Air Travel:  Students are advised to use Orlando International Airport (MCO) and arrive two hours prior to camp start. An airport shuttle will be available - feel free e-mail us for more information.
  • Payment/Refunds:  Payments may be made in full at RegattaCentral.com by using the table on the registration tab. Refunds minus a $500 deposit are available until a month before camp.
  • Supervision:  The staff lives amongst the student athletes, and has oversight 24 hours a day. Unhealthy substances and/or behaviors are strictly prohibited.
  • Staffing:  Coaches are not guaranteed; some are active national team athletes or coaches and must prioritize that schedule. To find out about a particular coach, shoot us an e-mail.

Measured Feedback Registration

December 27-30, 2016

Women Men Coxswains
Week 1 Open Open Open

Day Campers, please email us for a coupon code.

Measured Feedback Schedule

Schedule will be available by 1 October, 2016
Schedule will be available by 1 October, 2016

Camp Forms

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