By Harry Grigorian 19'
On the first Thursday of Spring Break, the STA and NCS crew teams flew down to Tampa, FL for our annual training trip. Believe me, this is a true “business trip.” We practice two or three times per day for usually 2-3 hours, and when you tack on boat upkeep and travel time, you’re looking at an exhausting day.
A typical day consists of a 6:10 wakeup, followed by a 6:30 breakfast. At 6:45 or 7:00, we load the vans and roll out to Plant High School’s boathouse on the Palm River. We arrive and everyone quickly springs into action. Rowers rush to put the launches (the coaches’ motor boats) in the water. Coxswains rush to check everyone’s seats. Coaches rush to every cry of “I can’t find *insert lost item*.” About 10 minutes after arrival, all eight STA/NCS boats are on the water. Morning practice usually consists of technical work. We typically fill this practice with drills to hone our rowing form. After a few hours, we dock, wash the boats, fill up the vans, and head back to the hotel.
At about 12:30, we again gather for lunch before loading up again and heading to the boathouse. Mid-day practice is usually the hardest, as this practice is filled with the most work. A typical afternoon practice may consist of 5x5 minute pieces, or 18x1 minute sprints. Again, we head back to the hotel, shower, and relax for a few hours.
At about 4:30, there is usually a large snack, and we head back for one more practice at 5:15. This practice consists usually of long, steady work, like three 10 minute pieces. We dock, tie down our boats, pull out the launches, and head back for dinner.
In the late evening, boats usually meet to discuss strategy or watch film with coaches. At 10 PM rowers are typically back in their rooms, and most go to sleep before 11.
This year, we also had the opportunity to race Plant High School (Tampa) and Capital City Rowing Club (Tallahassee). All STA boats scored big wins, and it was a great way to start off the year. One week after arriving, we flew back to DC.
St. Albans is very fortunate to be able to go on this trip, as it provides us valuable water time when the Potomac is still in awful conditions. This was certainly a successful trip, and STA is primed for a big year.