Archive for December, 2015

Wednesday, December 31st

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Athlete: Amber Crotty ’17

Hometown: Fruitport, MI

Major: Bio-medical Sciences

Woke up today around 6:30am to go on a quick jog along side the bay. Dense fog covered every part of Tampa, which at first was worrisome, but cleared pretty quickly. After my jog I stretched briefly for 10ish minutes and grabbed a bite to eat with my teammates. The coxswains walked down to practice about 20 minutes early to set up the erg-arm for Coach B’s “chalk talk”. The focus today was on the hands syncing together away from the body, the poise at the pivot and striking together at the catch. Our team was divided into two groups, one group went with Coach B while the other group went with Coach Allison and Coastas.

I coxed the Women’s Varsity 8 that followed Coach B. After a very productive row our group returned to the docks. The women were split into 4’s and we went out for a hour steady-state and technical row. After morning practice the team decided to hangout at the pool. Laying out in the sun and taking a dip in the pool felt amazing. The afternoon practice consisted of more steady-state rowing around the island in the bay. The varsity women’s 8 faced…. some hefty waves. If they can row in those conditions, they can row in anything.

Athlete: Zach Peters ’17

Hometown: Royal Oak, MI

Major: Finance and Marketing

Today the top eight men went out in fours. We started with a swing pick to quarter-slide warm-up to the front of the Tampa Convention Center where we usually meet before we start our practices in sunny Tampa Florida. Then we proceeded to do some skill and drill with emphasis on the recovery and a quick catch. The practiced then concluded with some bucket races next to a bunch of cruise liners. This practice was very productive and helped me learn that a quick catch starts from the body preparation.

After this we went back out on the water for a short fifty-minute row in pairs. Between practices we threw a tennis ball around by the pool and enjoyed a nap afterwards. The next practice we went out in fours for a short skill and drill row. We worked on the different stages of the recovery but mainly enjoyed a nice steady state row in the sun. When we got off the water we did three weight circuits. Tonight the team will be celebrating the New Year by enjoying some fireworks and each other’s company.

Athlete: Karissa Cloud ’19

Hometown: Ada, MI

Major: Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Poise, GatheRRRR, STRIKE!

Day three has started strong as we work on timing throughout our stroke. During our 8am chalk talk, Coach B explains how our actions at the beginning of the stroke will affect what happens at the end of the stroke, and vice versa. We split into two groups and were given lineups. As a coxswain I can work with either men or women and this morning I was practicing with a women’s eight. The other boats in my group with Coaches Allison and Costas were a men’s novice four and two varsity men’s pairs. We rowed south on the river toward the bay. Although we did not make it out to the bag, we turned and rowed past a cruise ship docked in its port. It look so much bigger in person on the water compared to seeing it while on land. After drill work to reinforce technique with timing and blade work, we head back to the dock for a quick water and snack break. A few lineups were switched but my eight was the same as we prepared to launch again for a quick row before lunch. This time, we rowed north into Tampa for 20 minutes and then were instructed to turn around. The water was choppy as motor boat travel increased, which made the row more… interesting. We all docked afloat and safe, thankful that it was time for lunch.

I got back to the hotel around 12 and went up to my room took a nap while most had gone to the pool to cool off. Our afternoon practice was at 3 so I left my room to walk down with some of the varsity girls at 2:30. We arrive at the site and the varsity were put into their same line-ups for a shorter row on the water. Novice stayed on land to do their erg work out that the varsity completed yesterday, 3×4000 meters. I was placed in a boat with men and I was happy to have been given the chance to work with both men and women today. We rowed south toward the bay but turned and rowed again past the same cruise ship we had seen earlier. This time, we could see people and waved as we had rowed by. It felt lengthy but was a fun row to get in the mileage. After docking and washing the boat and oars off, I went to the ergs to help cheer on the novice as they were half way through their pieces. I stayed with them until the end and got back to my room at about 5:30. People now are going between rooms, girls asking about their outfits and doing hair after their showers as we dress up for a fun night out to celebrate the New Year! Everyone is excited to eat and see the fireworks as we kick off the start to 2016. I am so happy and excited to be celebrating with this wonderful team I get to call my family during the holiday!

Tuesday, December 30th

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Athlete: Logan Conner ’18

Hometown: Rockford, MI

Major: Biomedical Sciences, Pre-Med

Day Two was filled with lots of rowing in the warm sun. The day started out with the team waking up around 7 for breakfast. We had our first of two morning practices at 8am which began off with a chalk talk by Coach B. He focused on the importance of having a 1 to 1 ratio of the hand speed coming out vs coming in. After that we were assigned to boats for practice. Since I am a coxswain and work with both sides of the team I was put on the women’s team to help out. We went up stream into the channel for some skill and drill. We worked on a lot of drills dealing with the catch and making sure the blade is placed in before the drive started. After that we came in and switched lineups. I was then placed in the men’s boat as we went back out for a short practice up stream in the channel for a little technique focusing on the release. After practice we had lunch which was provided by the team.

After practice we all headed back the hotel for some relaxation. Many people when out to the pool but I decided to take a nap. I would say it was a good nap although it was short lived because we headed back to the boathouse at 3 for our last practice. The rowers were on the erg their Wednesday pieces. Today they had 3 by 4k. Results were ok many did well while others did not. After the pieces we were sent back to the pool for mandatory pool party, AKA Coach said to cool down in the pool. Dinner was also provided. The Homeisters, parents of Owen, were very nice and brought us chicken, mash potatoes, Pasta Salad, Salad, and Cookies. Overall it was a very productive day for the rowing team as we look forward to more gains tomorrow.

Athlete: Ben Norrix ’19

Hometown: Rockwood, MI

Major: Group Social Sciences

Today started with a seven am wake up followed by the breakfast of champions, a bagel. The team met at the boats at eight o’clock. We began practice with one of coach B’s classic chalk talks. Today focus was on one to one. This is when your arms leave your body at the same speed as when you bring them into the body. The mens team began the day in pairs and fours. We rowed and stopped next to the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Then we moved into a sheltered area where we began to do waggle drills. After we returned to the dock where we changed boats. While the varsity guys split up into two fours, the novice men went into a mixed 8 with the novice girls to finish out the morning session.

After practice we all went back to hotel for some rest and relaxation. Personally I laid down and took a nap that lasted right up until I had to get up for our afternoon session. We arrived at the boats where we were informed that we were going to row our novice mens four. This was the first time we did not head towards the city and instead rowed away from it. This practice began us rowing by pairs and Coach Costas filming our rowing so he could better understand what he was telling us to do. We then proceeded by doing the waggle drill until we turned around to head back to the dock. Once turned around we began to have some internal boat racing. We would row by pairs where the object of it was to out pull the person you are rowing with. We continued this until the bridge right before the dock. From there on we rowed steady state until we reached the dock.

To end the day the whole team gathered around the pool at the hotel where Mr and Mrs Homeister fed us an amazing Dinner. I just want to thank them again for feeding us.

So far camp has been a lot of hard work but it has been fun as well. I look forward to the upcoming days of training and i know that all our hard work will pay off this spring. Go Lakers!

Monday, December 29th

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Athlete: Brittany Gronda ’17

Hometown: Tawas City, MI

Major: Advertising and Public Relations

Well the Laker Navy has arrived for another training trip in the beautiful Tampa Bay area! Normally we all hop on a bus and suffer through the 20+ hour trip together, but this year the coaches mixed it up and allowed us the opportunity to fly or drive down. With the crazy snow storm that hit Michigan yesterday I was worried that a majority of the team would run into troubles getting down here. But everything worked out and my teammates are here safe and ready to get out on the water.

This is my third year on the team and it is a running tradition that the first row of a training trip is at least three hours long and called the “Darth Vader Row.” Coach always said that if you did the practice right, you better be breathing like Darth Vader at the end. To go along with the change in travel plans, there was also a change with the first practice plan. We learned that it would be more about focusing on the fundamentals of rowing then building off of those throughout the week. The men and women were assigned to boats then immediately launched.

For the women’s practice the main focus point was making sure we had the correct body preparation. The body prep is like the base of a pyramid. Without a solid base the pyramid will fall; without a solid body prep the potential for a strong stroke has been compromised. This practice set the tone for the rest of the week, and it was only two hours long. A nice surprise.

I cant even begin to explain the pure joy and relief of sitting down into the boat when you’ve been stuck indoors on the rowing machine for the past month. Nothing compares. It’s only day one but I know this is going to be a great training trip. I’m surrounded by my friends, soaking up the sun, and sitting in a boat doing what I love. What more could I ask for?

Athlete: Danielle Rode ’19

Hometown: Rockford, MI

Major: Nursing

Today we woke around 8 and headed over to where we will be practicing for our stay here. Once we arrived we started taking boats off the trailers and putting the riggers on. We left around 11:30 and headed to subway to grab a quick lunch. Once we got back to the hotel, more of the team had arrived! We all spent the remainder of the day at the pool, catching some sun before our 3 o’clock practice.

At practice we really focused on the basics and getting use to being in the boat again. Tampa is a really beautiful place and the sights we got to see while on the water were really cool. We are definitely very lucky to be able to row here.

Athlete: Rob Hiner ’17

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Major: Engineering

Today was an exciting day, I was happy to see all of my teammates as they arrived in Florida. We started out the morning with rigging our boats and preparing our equipment for the week. After rigging all of the boats and preparing the launches for the coaches we broke for lunch. Following a quick lunch I enjoyed a few hours relaxing in the pool. It was awesome to be able to swim outside without freezing. The weather was perfect for swimming and rowing.

After a much needed sun bath we hit the water. Despite the blazing sun it felt great to be back on the water. We started with some simple drills but we ended with some fun speed work. There was a lot of boat traffic on the river but we still managed to find some flat water. After practice I got to walk the new boardwalk in downtown Tampa with some friends. Then we enjoyed some delicious subway for dinner. Overall it was a great day and I’m very excited for the week ahead!






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