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 ūüôā :

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. ūüėČ 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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Summer Rowing, Row for Heart, and LTR Friends & Family Day

Dear Athletes & Parents,

More information will be given at our year-end party on Sunday, June 7th (7pm at Kelsey’s in Westdale), but here are a few quick links to help navigate the summer rowing opportunities and options for athletes of all ages:

1) Summer Rowing Information & Registration – Wednesday, June 10th, 5-7pm @LBC
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/352936471571273/ 
This is for club competitive and bantam, as well as other programs you’d like to learn about (like Learn to Row (LTR) and Adult Recreational Rowing). Come meet the coaches, ask some questions, and see what works best for you and your availability/interests! Summer rowing is a great way to stay involved, fit, and on-top of your rowing technique before the school season starts again. You’ll also meet some great people!

2) Heart & Stroke “Row for Heart” – Signup Available
Contact: leanderrow4heart@gmail.com
Flyer: Heart and Stroke РInformational Flyer
Registration Form: Heart and Stroke РF15 Team Registration Form
LBC’s Row for Heart program still has a few spots remaining for teams, and the coordinators are hoping to have each highschool represented. You do NOT need any prior experience to compete in Row For Heart – the coaches will teach you everything you need to know, and the program accepts participants aged 16-years-old and up.

Row for Heart is a great way to try rowing, have a fun with friends, and meet new people.¬†The Ancaster Royals already have a parents 8+ that’s keen to challenge parents at other schools (including Westdale!) to make a team and compete for fun during this summer session. ¬†If teams are unable to find 8 crew members, then the coordinators are allowing teams to row in a 4+ instead, still competing in the final regatta on July 19th. Row for Heart is a keystone program that supports both highschool rowing programs and club rowing. Keen to try it? Contact Andrea Jansen for more information at leanderrow4heart@gmail.com.

3) Friends & Family “Learn to Row” Day – Saturday, June 27th, 9am-12pm @LBC
Event Link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/friends-family-learn-to-row-day-tickets-17158527618 
Highschool rowers and club rowers are invited to bring a guest (friend or family member) to a fun “Learn to Row” day, where you get to row with your guest and coaches will be available to answer questions about the sport and/or summer rowing opportunities at all ages and levels of fitness.

Enjoy!
Alessandra


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Update for Men’s Team, Change for Swag Orders, and Stretching Addition for ALL Athletes

Dear Westdale,

Hopefully you feel that your practices have been productive so far. The first few weeks of rowing often involve a lot of technical work, drills, half-boat rowing, and lower-rate pieces. There’s a lot to learn in just a short amount of time, so keep your chin up and just remember: all of your crews have come a long way.

Due to limited equipment and the necessity to train in secondary boats for a few days while maintaining the “one practice per day” rule, please be patient as we rotate crews for training purposes. If you have any concerns or questions, you are always welcome to ask your coach(es). We’re here to help.

1) Men’s Team – Boatings for Friday PM & Saturday AM (this week only)
Friday PM (3:30pm) = Arnaud, Lucas, Harrison, James, Will *carpool from school lot at 3pm, by handicap ramp exit
Saturday AM (5:45am) = Max, Kieran, Harrison, Lucas *Tom will be coaching and he has your lights

The rest of the schedule for men’s team boatings will be posted later this weekend, once I’ve had a chance to confirm boating equipment with Steffan in order to replace broken riggers/etc.

2) Change for Swag Orders
For those of you in need of change for your swag orders (three of you in total), thank you for your patience. It takes a while to process everything and also to obtain change so we can provide you with the correct amount. Your change (and overview of the payment) will be available at Monday’s practice (AM & PM).

3) Stretching Addition to all Practices
We (the coaches) have found ourselves discussing flexibility quite a bit this week, so effective immediately, the following 6min 15second¬†routine will be added to your day.¬†Ideally, it would be great if you can do it together at the end of practice, or even at the school. As mentioned, it takes approximately 6:15¬†to complete. (*men’s team – you’re expected to complete this at the end of every practice as a group)

The Routine:
Six Minute 15 second Rowing stretching routine

Whether this is done together in a group or alone, it must get done daily right through to the CSSRA regatta.  Better flexibility equals a longer stroke, which equals more boat speed.

Flexibility in sweep boats is evident when bodies are able to split out (*not the same as lunging*) for full reach and a longer stroke (longer arc of the blade), like in the following picture:
Splitting from boat with flexibility

Every gain that YOU make translates into more speed for your crew. Finally, you guys have done FAR too much work since November to have it compromised by a lack of flexibility.

See you all at practice,
Alessandra, Tom, and Mike


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Weekly Training Plan (Boats & Workouts), Team Yearbook Photo (Thursday at Lunch!), and More!

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Please see below for some important notes regarding boatings, weekly workouts & coaching arrangements, and our team yearbook photo booking.

1) Team Photo for Yearbook – Thursday, April 30th @11:18am (start of lunch) meet in foyer (by auditorium doors)
We just received notice (today) that the Westdale Rowing Team is to be photographed for the Yearbook this Thursday, April 30th, at the start of lunch – 11:18am – just outside the school’s front doors. All rowers should meet in the foyer just outside the auditorium on the first floor at 11:18am sharp. Please wear either green & gold coloured rowing gear (jacket/sweater/unisuit/etc.), or other Westdale athletics gear.

2) Men’s Team Boatings & Coaching This Week

Wednesday AM: *I will be¬†in the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) morning for an EEG, so I’ll come to drop off the lights with Tom before heading to the hospital & Tom will coach you for practice.
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Kieran/Max – 2x (Chuks)
JJ/Cooper/Harrison/Lucas – 4x (Ad Astra)
Luke – OFF
Wednesday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson

Thursday AM: *depends on boat availability – if reduced availability, primary crews will be sent out (4x/2x/2x)
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Luke – 1x (Private)
Kieran/Max/Harrison/Lucas – 4x (Ad Astra)
JJ/Cooper – 2x (St. Mary’s)
*TEAM PHOTO AT 11:18AM – MEET IN WESTDALE FOYER OUTSIDE AUDITORIUM IN GREEN/GOLD ROWING GEAR*
Thursday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson

Friday AM: 
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Luke – 1x (Private)
Max/Kieran/Cooper/JJ – 4x (Ad Astra)
Friday PM: Arnaud/Lucas/Harrison/Will/James (Hudson 4+) Рwith Alessandra/Hudson

Saturday @5:45AM: *Tom will be covering for my coaching as I will be in hospital. There will be no 10am practice this day.
Max, Kieran, Harrison, Lucas –¬†4x (Ad Astra)
JJ, Cooper, Erik, Luke, Will, James, Arnaud – OFF

If changes need to be made to the boatings then I’ll be sure to inform you before practice. This week we’ve got some boat-juggling to do based on numbers, equipment repairs, and athlete availability given Junior National Trials, so please be patient.

3) Women’s Team Boatings (AM/PM) & Note for the PM Rowers

For the AM athletes: Mike will provide a breakdown of the women’s crews this week, but please expect to be split into smaller groups for secondary crews (i.e.: training in smaller boats), pending boat availability. Remember: Thursday at 11:18am is our team yearbook photo. Please meet in the foyer just outside the auditorium at 11:18am sharp.

For the PM athletes: Tom & Peter will be coaching you this week at the regular practice times in regular quad boatings or quad/double groups. Focus will be on rowing all four together (timing and blade depth), and learning how to “push” or connect with the legs off of the catch and during the drive. Also, please note that our team photo will be taken at 11:18am for the yearbook (meet in foyer outside auditorium).

4) Weekly Workouts:

Wednesday – 2x29min pyramid (5/4/3/2/1; 5min rest) starting SRs = 18; 20 (top SRs = 26/28) *quick turns in valley & slip
Thursday – 2x2km Time Trials (SR 22; SR 26; 5min rest); 30min tech row after TTs are done
Friday – 3x2km Leap Frog (SR 24 “off”; SR 32 “on”); focus on ratio & power efficiency at higher rate
Saturday –¬†2x12min (1′ hard, 1′ light); 6min rest between pieces; focus on solid pressure; follow up with tech row & practice starts (1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full, build five, hold 10, settle *can be amended slightly for each crew).

Thanks,
Alessandra


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Training Plan, Clothing Orders, and Chili Cookoff Fundraising Tally

Dear Westdale Rowers,

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to ALL of you for a fantastic job during your first week on the water (yes, we’ve only been on the water for a week, and we’re already ahead of where we were this time last year!). I’m proud to say that Westdale is one of the few schools that has not yet capsized, and that¬†all our crews have been picking up the on-water rowing technique quickly.

Now that we’ve had a chance to settle into the swing of things, there are a few important things to note:

1) Launch Times & On-Dock Rules
Athletes are expected to arrive at 5:15am, set up the coach boats/oars, check their crew boats on the stretchers (this is mandatory), attach your lights, sign-out in the WSS log book, and then be ON the docks by 5:30am. Crews should be pushing off no later than 5:35am. For the Men’s Team, I’ll be timing your crews.¬†If you need more time, then you should discuss an earlier arrival time with your crew. Launch time is 5:30am.

Please remember that running on the docks is not permitted. Crews are allowed 1 min 30 seconds on the docks (an absolute maximum of 2 minutes), so please be efficient and work with your crew to get on and off as quickly as possible without running (it IS¬†possible). The reason for this time limit is to prepare you for regattas, where officials will limit your dock time, and¬†to ensure a smooth flow of boat launchings at LBC. No crew wants to wait around while another crew sits for five minutes on the dock and prevents others from launching. Let’s try hard to meet these time limits – I’m confident that all of our WSS crews can do this, so let’s do it. Excellence is a habit, and it starts with what you repeatedly do on a daily basis at your own club.

2) Chili Cookoff Fundraising Tally
I’m happy to announce that our Chili Cookoff Fundraiser has raised a WHOPPING grand total of $5136 in profits. This is an HUGE accomplishment, as it is $1397 higher than last year, and the funds can be used to purchase new ergs, cox boxes, and much needed rowing equipment upgrades. A BIG¬†thank-you to all of the parents involved (especially¬†our coordinators, Brock & Dina), and to all of you – the athletes – for assisting in running the event so smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without your volunteering and ticket selling. We really appreciate it!!!

3) Clothing Orders
A friendly reminder that athletes interested in purchasing “swag” orders (i.e.: for optional rowing clothes/crew kit items), your order forms and money are due tomorrow at practice (AM or PM). Order forms can be found here:¬†Westdale Rowing Apparel 2015 (Order Forms)

Please print them & return them during Monday’s practice if you’d like to receive your swag before our first regatta (this is the date by which Regatta Sport needs our order numbers). Feel free to contact Alessandra if you have any troubles with the deadline or have any questions about the orders

4) Training Plan (This Week & Monthly Plan Update)
The finalized monthly training plan will be posted later this week, but this week’s training plan can be found below. You can expect poor wind conditions this week during both AM and PM practices, so please remember that you should be bringing running shoes & appropriate clothing to every practice in case of a dryland training day.

Trying to carry a boat in the wind, it's like...

Trying to carry a boat in the wind, it’s like…

We’re already ahead in terms of “number of days on-water” in comparison to where we were last year, but we still have a lot to accomplish despite this advantage. Improvements can be made during dryland workouts too, so just remember that every day between now and CSSRAs is important – regardless of the wind conditions that greet us. You can make a difference by committing to each practice. This is our opportunity to really push ourselves as a team and work hard to reach our goals, both on-water and off. You know what you want, both personally and as a crew. Let’s work for that.

*This week’s boating lineups (i.e.: crew members) for the Sr. Women’s 8+ training days can be found here.¬†

Monday:
Water Р(FOCUS=POSTURE): Warmup; C6 Row 60min; 2x6k r20; add C1 8x(10-10-10) (1/2 boat takes 10 hard strokes, other 1/2 takes 10 hard, all take 10 hard together) *low rates
Dryland Backup – Men on tank/weights first half of practice (60min), Women on run & stairs (60min); then switch.

Tuesday:
WATER –¬†(FOCUS=SHIFTING RATES TOGETHER) Warmup; C4 row 90min; 2x”Bridge-Blockhouse-Lifts” (BBL), rates 18/20/22; 20/22/24 (rates “lift” at bridge and blockhouse; start in Valley each time).
Dryland Backup – 60min LDR followed by “House of Pain” using track near LBC.

Wednesday:
Water Р(FOCUS = DISTANCE & HAND LEVELS) Warmup; C6 row 70min; 12-15k, steady state; add trip of (10-10-10) on square
Dryland Backup – Ergs (2km) & Core & Run

Thursday:
Water – (FOCUS=ACCELERATING TOGETHER ON THE DRIVE) Warmup; C2 row (2x8min; 22/26spm); C6 Tech Row
Dryland Backup – fartlek runs + 7 sets of stairs at highlevel bridge; stretching & core

Friday:
Water – (FOCUS=BODY SWING & SHIFTING TOGETHER)¬†Warmup;¬†C5 row 70′; 2xBridgeBlockhouse-Slip Pyramid (BBSP) (rates 18/20/22/24 both times; change rates at bridge, blockhouse, and entrance to slip)
Dryland Backup – 300 & 40′ run

Saturday:
Water – Intro to Race Day -Skills (Turning, Backing, Start Sequencing, Technical Row)
Dryland Backup – 45min run; Core Circuit 1; Flexibility Session

5) Men’s Team Boating Schedule for Primary/Secondary Boats *2x from Mike’s crews will join as required:
Monday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Monday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Tuesday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Tuesday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Wednesday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Wednesday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Thursday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Thursday PM –¬†Jr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik¬†1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn¬†1x,
Friday AM – Luke 1x, Erik 1x, Sr. LWT M2x
Friday PM –¬†Jr. LWT M4+, Erik¬†1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn¬†1x
Saturday 5:45AM – Luke 1x, Erik 1x, Sr. M2x, Sr. LWT M4+
Saturday 9:30AM – Jr. LWT M2x (W/J)
Sunday 5:45AM –¬†Sr. M2x
Sunday 9:30AM –¬†TBD as required

Crew boats are as follows (a reminder):
Sr. M4x = Luke, Max, Kieran, Erik
Sr. LWT M2x = JJ, Cooper
Jr. LWT M2x (L/H) = Lucas, Harrison
Jr. LWT M2x (W/J) = Will, James
Jr. LWT 4+ = Arnaud (coxswain), Lucas, Harrison, James, Will
Sr. LWT 4+ = Arnaud (coxswain), Lucas, Harrison, Cooper, JJ
Sr. M2x = Kieran, Max
Singles = Erik 1x; Luke 1x; Jocelyn 1x

*If availabilities change, then this schedule will be ammended. I’ll explain the schedule in person tomorrow morning, so if you’re uncertain about something, then please ask me questions and I can explain it all at practice.

See you all in 5.5 hours,
Alessandra


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Chili Cookoff – Signup, Ticket Money Collection, Setup/Arrival Times

Dear Parents & Athletes,

A few notes from our parent reps/coordinators for the Chili Cookoff this Thursday:

1) Food Signup – Please, We Need Some More Help!
We are still in need of more people to sign up to offer a food contribution if you haven’t already signed up or contacted Dina. Many of you have mentioned that the Google Doc wasn’t working before, so it should be working now & everyone should be able to sign up here: FOOD SIGN UP

2) Setup Volunteers – ARRIVE AT 4pm
Anyone who signed up to volunteer for setup & initial tasks should arrive by 4pm (or as close to that time as possible). The event begins at 6pm. You can check to see what you’ve signed up for by checking the following sheets (and you can still sign up for a shift if you want to volunteer):
a) ATHLETE JOBS
b) PARENT JOBS

3) Ticket Money Collection – At morning & afternoon practices
Morning Athletes: Ticket money ($160 for each group of 8 tickets) can be submitted to Brock Gadsdon just before your morning practices at Leander. Parents or athletes should see Brock before the practice begins.
Afternoon Athletes: Alessandra will collect your ticket money on Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday afternoon.

4) Wine Donations – Drop Off Location
Morning Athletes: If you haven’t had the chance to bring in your bottle(s) of wine, Brock Gadsdon will be collecting donations at morning practices everyday up until the Chili Cookoff. Brock will be in the parking lot, so parents can drop off the wine with him there.
Afternoon Athletes: Alessandra will collect any remaining wine donations from parents on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. If parents are unable to bring the wine at this time, please connect with Alessandra for an alternate drop-off option. *please do not send your child with alcohol to school/practice Рwe request that parents bring the bottle(s)*

5) Food Rules/Guidelines – If you’re bringing chili, salad, and/or dessert
Chili: All chili must arrive hot in crock pots (make sure it’s already been heated thoroughly)
Salads & Desserts: Salads and desserts must arrive already prepared & ready to go (there’s no prep area in the hall)
ALL FOOD: All food items should have a list of ingredients accompanying them (helpful for dietary restrictions)
ALL UTENSILS, PLATES, & POTS (ETC.): Please label all your items so that they can be easily identified & returned to you at the end of the night.

6) Share the Event with Friends, Family, Teachers, Peers, etc. – Facebook Link
A Facebook Event Page has been created so that any & all can share the Chili Cookoff information with their friends, families, and peers (etc.). Please circulate to your networks & encourage people to come. Tickets can always be purchased at the door for $20 if they haven’t already obtained a ticket through a rower. Click here for the event link: Westdale Chili Cookoff Facebook Event Page

…that’s all ūüôā¬†Thanks, everybody!

Cheers,
Alessandra


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Chili Cookoff – Bring Wine for Saturday AM Practice

Dear Parents & Athletes,

Kim Newcombe (Max’s mom) & Holly Shanlin (JJ’s mom) will be collecting bottles of wine for the Chili Cookoff at tomorrow morning’s 5:45am-8am practice. If you’re not attending tomorrow morning’s practice, then please contact me (Alessandra) and I can collect your wine bottles over the weekend. We need to obtain the bottles this weekend so that Kim & Holly can wrap & prepare the bottles for the Chili Cookoff.

***ATHLETES – be sure to arrive at 5:45am tomorrow (Saturday) or even a bit earlier, since you’ll need time to set up a coach boat & check your boats on stretchers before pushing off the docks.¬†

RE: Chili Cookoff Ticket Money Submission
Money collection for the Chili Cookoff tickets will begin at the start of Monday morning’s 5:15am practice. Everyone is encouraged to continue selling their tickets, as we are counting on each athlete selling 8 tickets ($20 each, for a total of $160 per ticket package). Inviting family, friends, peers, teachers, etc. is always a good idea if you’re not certain who to approach.

THANK YOU for your efforts in helping to sell the tickets & in bringing in your wine bottles. The Chili Cookoff relies on every athlete, parent, and coach coming together to make the event a success. We can’t do it without you!

Cheers,
Alessandra