U23 athletes erging at the regional camp in Victoria. Photo courtesy of Terry Paul.
The continuous development of athletes is a big part of having a successful senior rowing program.
An important part of a rower’s development occurs between 19 and 22 years of age, otherwise known as under-23 (U23).
In order to maintain athletes in the system, young rowers need to stay motivated. They also have to keep training and have a support system around them that helps guide them.
Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is attempting to accomplish this by bringing the next generation of Olympians together several times a year at regional camps throughout the country.
The first camp occurred in London, Ontario, on November 28th and 29th. The 2-day camp unfolded under the supervision of Terry Paul, Michelle Darvill and Phil Marshal and included U23 athletes, both heavy and lightweight.
The experienced team of U23 coaches and trainers were assembled to communicate RCA’s key messages and practices to the young athletes. This was also an attempt to prepare them for a successful U23 career as well as to help them make the transition from the U23 level to the senior ranks.
The young athletes that were invited to the camps had been identified throughout the year by various testing measures and identification regattas. Concepts communicated to the rowers included training volumes, dynamic warm ups, strength and conditioning, technique and selection procedures.
In addition to workouts occurring both on the water, on the indoor rowing machine, and in the gym, the athletes were also exposed to some physiological testing.
Senior athletes and coaches from the London Training Centre were also present to help share the importance of certain fundamentals, such as specialized core work for mobility purposes and injury prevention. Coaches from the Western University rowing program also assisted the athletes by lending them equipment.
Another successful regional camp occurred the following weekend in Victoria at Elk Lake and at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence. The December 6th and 7th event reiterated the concepts communicated the previous weekend in London. This camp included heavyweight men rowers only.
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