Archive for January, 2012

Tyler Sellmer – Clear Horizons

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

January 6th

In the end, everything in life is a cycle of preparation and execution. Today the Grand Valley Rowing team had a lot of life to it. In the early hours of the morning, a vehicle was dispatched from Sarasota to drop people off at their AM flights in the Tampa airport. Later, but still early, the balance of the team departed Florida for the refuge of my family’s residence in Georgia. And throughout the day, my family and I were preparing for the team’s arrival.

As the team’s boatman I say my job is usually “to pack chaos into a nice neat bundle.” There are few better at this art than my mother, who had an enormous meal ready to heat for the rowers, in addition to the bedding and other materials required to sleep them for the night. The Vans arrived at 5pm and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and playing ultimate Frisbee in the park near our house. We then moved indoors where we ate dinner then visited and some watched a movie for the rest of the evening. We end the night with a briefing about what exactly will be expected the next morning.

Tomorrow, in the early AM, we will begin the next leg of the journey which will find us in Michigan at its end. This is a journey that I have made many many times. Both in a group and by myself, it is nothing more than “my drive home” so to speak. We will attempt to streamline this 14hour drive with delegated drivers, a concise schedule of stops, and good disciplined as far as following and stop timing are concerned.

Maritime tradition dictates that voyages, endeavors and the like be blessed with the simple statement “Clear Horizons” a phrase with connotations going far past the line of sight.

So hears to Clear Horizons for our Journey tomorrow.

End CommuniK

Tyler Sellmer
GVSU Boatman

Day One – Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Athlete: Amy Brunner’13
Home Town: Traverse City, MI (St. Francis H.S.)
Major: Allied Health Sciences
3rd year on team. 2011 sat 5 seat in the womens 2nd Varsity Eight.
2011 Results: Dad Vail D2 Finalists and ACRA 2V Champions.

Grand Valley Rowing’s 2011-2012 Winter Training Camp began this morning, three days after Christmas, at the Rowing Training Center. The rowers met at the RTC to load three large white vans at 3:30 a.m. We were on the road shortly after 4:00 a.m., following Coach Bancheri, who towed the launch boat he uses for coaching. Destination? Peachtree City, Georgia, to the home of our teammate Tyler Sellmer. Although we drove an exhausting fifteen hours today, the van rides brought quality team bonding time. In the van I was in, we played Catchphrase, Apples to Apples, and the van ride classic: Guess Each Other’s Middle Names. We talked with each other, listened to music, and ate food. Those of us who are twenty-one and older were allowed to drive, but teammates of all ages were eligible to participate as Copilots, responsible for keeping the drivers alert. We rode through Ohio (lots of churches), Kentucky (we saw a water tower welcoming us to the town of “Florence, Y’all”), Tennessee (beautiful), and the home stretch, Georgia. When we pulled up to the Sellmer’s wonderful home, Tyler was outside to greet us with a smile. His parents, Tom Sellmer and Joanne Robben, provided us with a delicious dinner of grilled pork chops, salad, rice, applesauce, rolls, and dessert. Most of the team is sleeping at the Sellmer’s tonight, while another group of us is staying with the Clubine family, their friends who live around the corner. We are so grateful to receive such fantastic hospitality. Tomorrow morning the journey continues! We will wake up early, eat a quick breakfast at the Sellmer’s, and hit the road by 6:00 a.m. After about eight hours on the road, we will arrive in Bradenton, Florida. My fingers are crossed for some sunshine! We are looking forward to training out of the Fort Hamer Rowing Center this week, and all of the challenging and fun times to come.

The Coaches

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Thirty-five rowers.
Four coxswains.
Three coaches.
Eight training days in Florida.

Three words: A Great Success.
Do you know what M²C stands for? Have you been paying attention? Have you figured it out yet?

Mileage Makes Champions.

In just eights days in Florida our athletes logged over a quarter of a million meters, bringing them that much closer to their winter break goal of one million meters. However, more impressive than the meters logged was that these 35 rowers and four coxswains gave up part of their winter vacation, precious time with their family and friends, because they are in a relentless pursuit of perfection. This attitude is obvious in their attentiveness during chalk talks, thoughtful questions and desire for feedback. Coach Bancheri felt that this was one of the most successful training camps that he has had in his entire coaching career.

This morning’s practice held the last chalk talk of the trip. We reviewed this weeks focuses: posture, timing, balance, control, and touch. These focuses are the foundation to our long technique rows. The water was some of the best we have seen since we arrived, and we took advantage of it. After a couple hours on the water we retreated to the beach for a “mandatory beach day” which included lots of volleyball, frisbee, and sea shell hunting.

Tonight’s practice was meant to work on 4:1 and 3:1 ratio rowing… but with a twist. A Bancheri twist. We now know why most of our athletes row- because they can’t throw. At least they can’t throw water balloons at moving targets. Plenty of water grenades were launched but few connected with success. However, when they did connect, it was hilarious! Coach Bancheri stood in his command tower, overlooking the “races” while the crews waited in anticipation for the call, “FREE FOR ALL!!” with which anarchy would ensue and all bets would be off.

This was a technical training vacation with the goal of raising each athlete’s level. Some of the greatest improvements were made by the novice women. Towards the end of the trip they really began to blend with the varsity rowers that were mixed into their boats. It was really great to watch and the coaches think they will only continue to raise their level and gain more boat speed if they build on the foundation they set this past week.

The rowers will be bringing a lot back to Michigan – oatmeal packets, peanut butter, left over meatballs, sun tans, sun burns, blisters, sore muscles and most importantly, increased technical rowing knowledge that they can apply to their winter ergometer training and help us hit the ground running when we return to Florida for spring break.

We would like to thank everyone that helped get our athletes down to Florida, as well as Kim Hyde for generously cooking delicious team meals. Generous alumni and donor support is extremely important and we thank you. Our success is yours. Go Lakers!

The Coaches
John Bancheri
Lisa Saladino
Kelsey Arnold

Coach John Bancheri

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Coach Bancheri Teaching Athletes how to cook authentic Sicilian meat balls.

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club challenges its student-athletes to reach the highest level to which they aspire both academically and athletically, while continuing to build and sustain a nationally competitive intercollegiate rowing program.

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