Train Like an Elite: 10 Tips from Wesley Ng

By Helen Tompkins | August 11, 2016

Wesley NgWomen’s Head Coach at the University of Pennsylvania and U-23 National Team Selection Camp, gave an informative and inspirational talk at Sparks's Penn Rowing Camp about the similarities and differences between a U-23 National Team rower and the average collegiate rower.

Similarly, the rowers will attempt to figure out a pecking order. They are afraid of making mistakes and asking “wrong” questions. Even though natural team selection camp athletes are really good on the erg, they are nervous about erg pieces.  However, unlike the average collegiate rower, they will not let anxiousness stop them.

Ng also highlighted ten ordinary things that individuals can to do make themselves more like an elite rower:

  1. Plan: Rowing is a priority. Plan your life to handle it.
  2. Arrive Early: Know what you need to do to be prepared to perform at your best.
  3. Help your Teammates: Instead of blaming your teammates for their faults, help them so that you can all be better.
  4. Care for Equipment and Environment:  Take responsibility and pride in your space and equipment.
  5. Make Warm-up Light and Fun: Enjoy each other. Make life better for the individuals in your program, then know when to get serious.
  6. Ask Questions: Ask questions not to be heard but to understand how to be better.
  7. Be Thankful: Have the attitude that your teammates and coach are in this together. After practice say, “Thanks, Coach. See you tomorrow.”
  8. Be Humble: When you fail, “Do it better.”  Acknowledging that you are not as good as you thought frees you to try something else.  Allow the hurt and disappointment to come from failure, then come back tomorrow and get on with it.
  9. Be in the Moment: Concentrate on what you're doing. To quote Kevin Sauer, Head Coach at University of Virginia, “Rowing is not the most important thing in life, but while you're doing it, it's the most important thing.”
  10. For Coxswains: First look, listen, and learn, then project a clear vision.

For more information on Sparks Rowing Camps, click here.