Westdale Secondary School Rowing

Information for the Westdale Secondary School Rowing Community


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CSSRAs: From a Former Coach

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Mike, Tom, and Peter have kindly allowed me to write a post to all of you in light of the upcoming CSSRA races this weekend, so here it goes 🙂 :

Throughout this past year I’ve had the privilege of seeing the blog updates from Mike and Tom in regards to your hard work, training, and racing results. It’s been incredibly awesome (in the true “awe inspiring” sense of the word) to see how much you’ve all developed athletically and progressed.

I’ve missed coaching you at Westdale, but I know that this year’s team has been doing a great job – both the athletes and the coaches. As you move into your final regatta of the school year, I want to leave you with this:

You’ve worked so hard for this. For many of you, you’ve been training multiple years for this. “Good luck” is something that I could say, but I reckon that “luck” is not as important as executing what you already know and have been trained for. You KNOW what to do. Go do it. Make it yours. And have fun. 😉 Knowing that you’ve left everything you could on the water after rowing to the best of your capabilities as a team is the most important thing. Yes, even more than your final numerical placement on a scoreboard.

I’ll be cheering for you, across a different kind of pond, in a slightly different continent. My heart is at the regatta this weekend.

Miss you all… and sure, I’ll still say it: GOOD LUCK!!!
Alessandra

(Former Westdale Rowing Coach 2006-2015)


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UPDATED: Men’s Team – Boating Lineups until CSSRAs

Dear Men’s Team,

Please see the following UPDATED schedule for your boating lineups and training days until CSSRAs:

Monday, June 1st:
Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke
Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 2x (Bishop Ryan) – Max & Kieran

PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (Justice) – JJ & Cooper with Alessandra

Tuesday, June 2nd:
Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke
Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper

PM: Sr. Men’s 2x (Stocks) – Max & Kieran with Alessandra

Wednesday, June 3rd: (Derig/Trailer Loading)
Sr. Men’s 4x (Ad Astra) – Luke/Max/Kieran/Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper
*derig the Ad Astra, Justice, and Stocks after practice and load to the trailer

PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia before car-topping & transporting 1x to St. Kitt’s

Thursday, June 4th (St. Kitt’s Practice Day):
Practice at LBC:
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper
Practice at St. Catherine’s: *Luke & JJ away for graduation formal
*Meet Alessandra at 11am in Westdale Secondary School parking lot by the gates to the football field. The bus will leave immediately following attendance.
Jr. Men’s 1x
Jr. Men’s 2x
Sr. Men’s 2x

Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 7th = CSSRAs (info can be found here). 

Please review this schedule carefully and contact me if you have any questions/concerns.

I’m aware that some of you are being asked to train occasionally during the PM session in order to accommodate equipment availability. Please understand that this is due to equipment limitations and boating ratio limits. If anything changes, I will let you know immediately. I appreciate your flexibility during this final week.

Thanks,
Alessandra


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Tom Beshoff – Coaching Introduction

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

Please see below for a message from our newest addition to the coaching team, Tom Beshoff:
__________________________________

I just thought I would fire off a note to say that I’m thrilled to be a part of Westdale Rowing!  From what I’ve seen these past few mornings, there’s some great potential in the squad and your coaches have done some really good work getting you to this point of the season.

I’m looking forward to working with all of the rowers at various points until June, and I’ll do my very best to help you be as fast as possible on the water.  If we combine your best effort with our best effort, I can tell you that there is NO LIMIT on what you can achieve.

I don’t use quotes very often, but one that is absolute gold in our sport, is:

   “What the Mind Believes, the Body will Deliver”

I’ll provide a couple of stories later this week to show you why this one really works for me. In the meantime, I’d like you to do some homework.  I want you to think of your two best qualities that help the most in making you go faster.  And I also want you to think of two things that you feel are standing in the way of you getting faster.  I’ll be asking you at some point, for these answers.

Tom
__________________________________

…I highly encourage all athletes – both men’s & women’s teams – to consider Tom’s homework points above, as you’ll be called upon in this coming week to provide your responses.

Welcome, Tom!

~Alessandra


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Training & Important Dates (Parents & Athletes)

Dear Athletes & Parents,

Welcome back from March Break & to the official start of outdoor season training! 😀

happy minions WOOHOOO OMG WOOHOO

IMPORTANT DATES FOR PARENTS & ATHLETES:

-Wednesday, March 25th, 3-4pm:
SWIM TEST FOR ALL NOVICES @ Dalewood Swimming Pool *mandatory for all new rowers* athletes must wear cold-weather clothing for the swim test in order to mimic falling in the water during the outdoor season – this means LONG SLEEVES & LONG PANTS. Due to the timing, rowers completing the swim test are asked to leave their last period class about 10-15minutes early to give enough time to walk to the pool.
-Thursday, March 26th, 7pm: Parent & Athlete Meeting (Outdoor Season Waivers/Chili Cookoff/Training Schedule) @ WSS Library *mandatory for all*
-Sunday, March 29th, 12-3pm: Tank Session (*mandatory for all*) @ Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)
-Wednesday, April 1st, 3:30-5pm: Women’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *women’s team only*
-Thursday, April 2nd, 3:30-5pm: Men’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *men’s team only*
-Saturday, April 4th, 9-11am + CREW LUNCHDocks In @LBC, followed by a crew lunch (whole team). Coxswains & bow-persons will be taken in the coach boat during the docks-in session for a loop around the harbour to observe traffic patterns & safety spots if clear. If required, I can provide a ride for coswains & bow-persons to the crew lunch (if your rides have already left). ***Steffan will also hold a special coxing/bowing clinic from 1-3pm for new coxswains & bow-persons only. I highly advise new coxswains & bow-persons to attend (you can go right after the crew lunch).

NOTE: To the men participating in the MCC exam, I also have my OSCE dry-run on April 2nd at 6pm, so I can bring you all to McMaster Hospital if you need a ride post-rigging at LBC. Just let me know in advance.

TRAINING PLAN MARCH 23rd-29th: *Testing & Movement Screening Week*

Monday, March 23rd:
Men – Team Meeting, 30min Erg (20/22spm) + 10min Tech Erg, Stretching & Debrief
Women – Team Meeting, Warmup Run, Weights, Cooldown & Stretching/Debrief

Tuesday, March 24th:
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Overview of Movement Screening; Weights/Movement Screen; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Tech Erg Rotations with Core Circuit (300 circuit/25min tech erg); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Wednesday, March 25th: *Swim Testing @3pm (Dalewood Pool)*
Men – Warmup in Middle Gym, 2km Erg Testing, Core Circuit, Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Weights; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Thursday, March 26th: *Parents & Athlete Meeting @7pm (WSS Library)*
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Weights & Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 2km Erg Testing; Core Circuit; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Friday, March 27th: 
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Cardio & Core Circuit; Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 25min Tech Erg Rotations (run/erg/core); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Saturday, March 28th: OFF

Sunday, March 29th: *Tank Session in Welland*
ALL ATHLETES – 12-3pm Tank Session at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)

…see you all in the morning!

Cheers,
Ali 🙂


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Chili Cookoff Parent’s Meeting, March Break Training, and Welland Tank Session

Dear Athletes & Parents,

Three quick notes in this post:

1) Parent’s Meeting – Thursday, March 26th @7pm in the WSS Library

Mark your calendars: Thursday, April 16th will be the night of Westdale Rowing’s Infamous Chili Cookoff! PREPARE YOUR CROCKPOTS. GET READY FOR A SHOWDOWN. EMPTY STOMACHS WILL BE FILLED. The winner is still to be determined…

The parent’s meeting on Thursday March 26th at 7pm in the WSS library will address the Chili Cookoff (which has been organized by the Parent Reps), as well as important outdoor rowing information (fees, waivers, regatta dates, safety requirements, practice schedule/training requirements at LBC).

2) March Break Training – Monday, March 16th from 6-8am @LBC

There will be one official “At LBC” practice held over March break this year. The team practice will run on Monday, March 16th, from 6-8am at Leander Boat Club. The rest of the week will be comprised of workouts that athletes can complete at home on their own time – these workouts will be posted to this blog. If athletes would like additional assistance with technical development on the erg or on the tank aside from Monday’s practice, then they should contact Alessandra with their availability & the name of a partner that would join in the practice (there must be at least 2 athletes for an extra practice to be held).

3) Welland Tank Session – Sunday, March 29th from 12-3pm @WIFC

We will be holding a mandatory tank session for ALL outdoor rowers on the Men’s & Women’s Teams. The tank session is booked for Sunday, March 29th, and will run from 12-3pm at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC). Plan to be there for the entire session, as we will be rotating athletes through the tank & the gym (for information on the facilities available, click here). Directions can be found here, but will also be posted closer to the session date.

See you all tomorrow for the coach-swap,
Alessandra


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Training (Monday-Friday)

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Big congratulations for your solid efforts this weekend 🙂 You all pushed yourselves to your limits as a team, and we’ve had a lot of crew successes as a result. New records were also set by numerous teams, and trophies for first-place crew finishes were acquired by the Jr. LWT Women, Jr. Women, Sr. LWT Women, Sr. Women, and Sr. Men. WAY TO GO WESTDALE!

This week we’ll be moving into on-water preparation as the indoor season winds down for its final week before the outdoor training begins (though yes, the first few weeks of “outdoor” will likely be “indoor” due to weather). Here’s the schedule:

*PLEASE NOTE: YOUR CLOCKS SHOULD “SPRING FORWARD” ONE HOUR – ALL PRACTICES ARE AT WESTDALE THIS WEEK*

Monday
Men – Team meeting; 10min warmup run + dynamic stretching; ergs (it’s a surprise); cooldown & debrief
Women – 10min warmup run; 60min weights; cooldown & debrief

Tuesday
ALL – Crew Selection Discussion (whole team)
Men – 10min warmup run; 40min weights; cooldown & debrief
Women – 5min warmup; 3x20min ergs/core/run; cooldown & debrief

Wednesday
Men – 10min warmup (suicides & core) + dynamic stretching; LDR Erg + 300 circuit; cooldown & debrief (March Break & tank review)
Women – 10min warmup run; 60min weights; cooldown & debrief

Thursday *coach swap*
Men – 10min warmup run; weights; cooldown & debrief
Women – Team challenge exercise (it’s a surprise!); erg challenge (swap in partners); cooldown & debrief

Friday
ALL – Team relay + surprise + March Break training overview

…sorry for posting this so late. Shockingly, your coaches have lives outside of volunteer coaching and we get a bit behind too… I know… weird, right?

See you all in the morning 🙂
Alessandra


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Team Lunch + Mac 2×4 Times and Shirts

Dear Westdale Rowers,

If you haven’t signed up yet for tomorrow’s team lunch at the Mandarin (12:30pm, Upper James location), then please sign up today on the Doodle poll & click “save” so that your response is recorded here: http://doodle.com/wstu5fvupw47xi32 

Mac 2×4 Shirts – If you have not already collected your Mac 2×4 racing shirt, then coach Mike will distribute them tomorrow morning in the racing area (McMaster University Student Center Atrium). If you did not purchase a shirt this year but are racing, then please bring last-year’s racing shirt. All athletes are expected to wear their unisuits & Mac 2×4 shirts for the event.

Mac 2×4 General Info – I’ve already posted info about the 2×4 below, but here’s a short overview (*waivers NOT required*):
1) All athletes arrive at 7:30am in the McMaster University Student Centre Atrium (Google “McMaster University Student Centre” to find directions).
2) Check-in immediately with coaches & weigh-in if required (weigh-ins open at 7:30am)
3) Injured athletes are encouraged to attend to cheer on their teammates
4) Athletes must bring: water, food (breakfast + snacks), *DUCT TAPE & CARDBOARD FOOTSTRAPS* (coordinate with your team for this part), racing unisuit & Mac 2×4 shirt
5) Schedule of events can be found here: Mac 2×4 Event Information – 2015 Schedule

8:00am = Jr. HS Women & Jr. HS LWT Women
8:40am = Jr. HS Men & Jr. HS LWT Men + Coxswain Race
9:20am = Sr. HS Women & Sr. HS LWT Women & Club U19-JR Women
10:00am = Sr. HS Men & Sr. HS LWT Men & Club U19-JR Men
10:40-11am = Highschool Awards & Trophy Presentations
12:30pm = Team Lunch (All-You-Can-Eat) at the Mandarin (please sign up asap so I know numbers here: http://doodle.com/wstu5fvupw47xi32) Cost is $19.99 (about $25 total when including tax & tip).

This is our final indoor race of the season, but our first team/crew race, so we’re faced with our first racing opportunity to really push together as crews – not just as individuals – against other highschools in the Golden Horseshoe region & GTA/Hamilton-Wentworth. A big part of the race will be determined by how well you work together as a team through transitions and motivating one another, so let’s use this as a good challenge: talk with your teammates, figure out what gets them motivated, and communicate as a team so that you’re smooth on those transitions.

Good luck Westdale!

See you all at 7:30am,
Alessandra