Permanent link for Rowing Club Takes on Georgia Over Spring Break - Day 2 - 3/6/23 on March 14, 2023
Day two (Monday, March 6th)
Hi, I’m Butters, and I'm excited to share my experience with Grand Valley's rowing team during our spring break training trip. This is the second spring break trip I’ve been on with the team, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now!
Our first two days were intense and a bit hot, with practices twice a day, but it was worth it as it’s a nice change from Michigan’s weather. This morning we started with a yummy breakfast at our hotel, getting ready for our morning practice on Lake Lanier. After a nice land warmup, we headed towards the water for some drills and technique work. As a coxswain for the eight, I spent some time in the launch recording our performance to analyze later. After practice we headed back to the hotel where we ate a delicious lunch made by Coach Troy's mom (shoutout to the real MVP). Then some of us headed to the store for some downtime before our afternoon practice. At practice we got to test out a demo boat from Vespoli, which was a pleasant change from our usual Hudson eights. We did some high-intensity pieces with resistance, getting faster each time, before heading back to the hotel for dinner, which was prepared again by Lisa Harding.
Overall, it's been a great start to our spring break training, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week has in store for us. These trips are always challenging, but they're also incredibly rewarding. I'm grateful for the opportunity as the trip gives us a chance to fix all the issues with our stroke before getting back on the cold water back home.
This morning we left the hotel around 8:30 to go to the lake for morning practice. I rowed in one of the varsity women’s 8+ boats where we got to test out a new Vespoli 8+. We worked on our catches and focused on getting a good backsplash while rowing by sixes at a 12-16 stroke rate for the first half of practice. Then for the second half of practice, we focused on the same thing but rowed by all 8 at an 18-22 stroke rate. Each practice we’ve been seeing a lot of improvement while we knock off some rust from winter training. It makes me very excited for the upcoming season. After practice, we had lunch at the hotel, and I went to Dunkin with a group of the varsity women. Then I watched Tiktoks until afternoon practice. At practice, we did AT work at a 24-28 stroke rate. After practice, I had chicken and mac and cheese for dinner at the hotel. After dinner, I went to get ice cream with some teammates!
This morning it was hard to get myself out of bed but eventually, I got up and got myself a nice waffle and sausages to fuel myself for practice. The novice men gathered after breakfast for a quick meeting with coach Trevor and discussed issues with our technique that we could focus on. After that and a little
bit of downtime, we went off to practice. I got to ride with Elliot, our esteemed vice president for the first of many trips today, and I have to say it was a fun ride. At our morning practice, we went out in the Stoll and did a lot of work on our timing. Our first drill was a pause slap, where we would stop at the ½ slide, ¾ slide and then let our oars slap the water at the catch. Rotating between bow and stern 4, we spent a lot of time on that and continuous rowing by 6s . Near the end of practice, however, we started to row by 8 and worked up towards race speed. While it is valuable to spend time rowing as an eight, it wasn't in my favor being that my feet don’t fit in 2 seat’s shoes in the Stoll. This made it even more difficult for me when we got to higher rates but by sheer luck, I was somehow able to stay in. Our second practice was 3 hours long and full of experiences. The novice men went out an hour early just to make the most of this trip as we could. However, during our time warming up Aiden’s rigger, our bow seat, ended up coming off the boat. So we had to head in after that. It wasn’t so bad though, since it led us to have the chance to row in the Lubbers, the current V1 boat. Most of this practice was spent on backing the blade into the water and just spending time rowing as a boat.
Outside of practice, most of my time was spent with the other novice men. Our coach took us to get ice cream as a reward for a successful setting drill. Here we got another amazing food review from Michael as he enjoyed his blizzard. Overall, our time with the trip was full of great memories.
Good morning, Laker Nation! Today is Monday, day 2 of our spring break training here in Gainesville, Georgia! We started off the day strong with morning practice consisting of steady-state in an 8 boat by 4s and 6s. Along the way, we performed pause drills to focus on the timing of body movements at the catch. Coach McKenzie taught us that as we approach the catch, we need to have faster arm movement and slow down the legs to make sure that once we do reach the catch, the oar blade enters the water at the exact same time as when our legs reach the end of the slide. It was a tricky concept for us all to grasp at first, but I saw improvements with our slide speed and tendency to lunge or over-compress at the catch. While rowing back to the dock by 6s, I noticed that our oars were rarely checking (touching) the water as we rolled up through the recovery. This made me so happy! It was only a few months ago that our novice 8 could only get one or two “tickless” strokes in a row. We are making so much progress in improving our form!
After morning practice concluded, we all loaded into the minivans and drove back to the hotel where we ate deli sandwiches, various chips, and watermelon. We played a few rounds of the classic game Telephone which was fun, too. After our delicious and nutritious lunch, around a dozen women rowers and myself drove to Dunkin Donuts to enjoy post-practice coffees. One thing I’m really enjoying about this trip is all of the opportunity to interact and get to know members of the team I haven’t gotten close with yet! Especially as a first-year member of the team, the trip has been an amazing bonding experience.
Next was the afternoon practice! It was a bright and sunny 70° evening in our novice 8 boat. We brought up the power with a Battle Paddle between port side and the starboard side! It was a fierce competition between pair partners, boat halves, 6s, and eventually all 8! It was a thrilling experience to go head-to-
head with the other girls and cheer them on! Afterwards we rowed by all 8 at higher rates and focused on keeping the boat controlled. In the end, I saw lots of improvement in our timing, rushing, and overall, boat synchronicity.
Finally, we drove back to the hotel and enjoyed a burger and macaroni dinner together. Some of us went out to ice cream after and it was a blast! I cannot wait for what fun adventures await me for the rest of the week!