Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale 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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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


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Friday AM – Instructions for Men & Women’s Teams

Hello Westdale Rowers!

The time has come to move our practices down to Leander Boat Club, finally! OUTDOOR SEASON IS UPON US!

in awe of being at boat club

Practice will begin at 5:30am sharp at Leander Boat Club, and the following athletes must attend:
-ALL of the men’s team
-ONLY women from the Sr. Women’s 8+, Sr. Women’s 2x, and Jr. Women’s Midweight 8+ (to determine your crew, see Mike’s post on crews).

Your RCA registration must be completed before tomorrow morning’s practice.¬†Outdoor fees are also due by¬†tomorrow morning. If you haven’t registered yet, then please do so on the RCA registration website. For instructions & a link to the website, please see Mike’s post on RCA registration. Rowing fees are $275 for HS rowers (LBC fee + WSS fee); $205 for coxswains (LBC fee only); and $70 for club athletes (WSS fee, LBC fees paid directly to club).

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Men’s Team – Arrive at 5:30am. Come prepared in layered workout clothes (enough to stay warm outside), and bring 7/16ths wrenches. You will be doing final rigging adjustments (the Sr. LWT 4+ must rig the new Hudson 4+ that just arrived), a practice coach-boat setup for new athletes, and a running/stairs workout followed by an¬†important team meeting.

Women’s Team – Arrive at 5:30am. Come prepared in layered workout clothes (enough to stay warm outside), and bring 7/16ths wrenches. You’ll be rigging the rental 8+, then meeting with Mike so that he can explain the crew selection & time trials process (the crews listed are not final until he’s done seat racing/etc., so he will explain how he’s running the selection), and then you’ll have an opportunity to do a running workout.

BOTH TEAMS – If the other schools are on-water, then we will have an opportunity to conduct part of our workout indoors on the tank. We are not going on-water tomorrow because we need to have all boats fully rigged & set before our first outing, which includes our rental boats and some equipment upgrades on the boats we’re currently using.

OH NO, I’M NEW, WHAT DO I WEAR?!?!?!:

Layer up. Any/all of the following would be a solid choice:
-long spandex tights (insulated with fleece lining is even better for warmth, or use long underwear)
-warm smartwool socks, or similar
-running shoes
-long-sleeve, spandex (or close-fitting) exercise top made of dryfit material or something that wicks away sweat so you stay warm
-fleece vest or jacket lining
-waterproof, wind-proof jacket (nothing too heavy – something you could easily run/move around in)
-winter headband (to cover ears/forehead) or a toque/insulating hat
-mitts/gloves (trust me, you want these for tomorrow or your fingers will freeze in the wind & rain!)

layers

We want to avoid hypothermia and all those other lovely cold-weather hazards, so please take note of the weather (13*C, thunderstorms/rain, high winds) and dress accordingly.

See you all at Leander Boat Club tomorrow at 5:30am sharp.

Cheers,
Alessandra


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Training April 6th-11th (ERG TESTS & FIRST WATER DAY!)

Hello Westdale!

I hope you’ve all had a relaxing long-weekend. Now that the docks are in we are officially able to get on-water this week. Our first on-water day will be Saturday, April 11th. This is based off of cold-water rules arranged with Steffan, as well as the timing of boat rentals arriving (some of which we require to get on-water).¬†This week is also the coaching swap, so the women will be coached by me (Alessandra), and the men will be coached by Mike.

We're switching!

We’re switching!

A friendly reminder to all parents & athletes: Outdoor Fees must be paid before getting out on-water. Please ensure that you speak with your athlete’s primary coach if you require an alternate payment plan, or if you have any questions about the outdoor fees. Chili cookoff sign-up sheets will be made available tomorrow as an online Google document, so keep posted for that, and I will also be posting an overview to the blog of the important info from the Chili cookoff presentation tomorrow at that same time.

Training Plan:
Monday, April 6th (TODAY, OYOT):
ALL ATHLETES – 50-60min run on your own time (long distance, category 6, cardio workout)

Tuesday, April 7th: 6:30am @WSS *coach swap*
Men – 10min warmup jog in middle gym; 20min stair run (basement to 4th floor, in stairwell nearest weight room); 30min House of Pain (3rd floor in partners); stretching & debrief with Mike
Women – 10min warmup jog in middle gym; Juniors = 2km erg testing; Seniors = cardio circuit (TBExplained at practice); stretching & debrief with Alessandra

Wednesday, April 8th: 6:30am @WSS *coach swap*
Men – 10min warmup run; dynamic stretching; 2x30min erg w 5min rest (Cat 5 – 6km split + 8s); stretching & debrief with Mike
Women – 10min warmup run; 20min stair run tag-team game (3rd floor); 30min House of Pain (3rd floor in partners); stretching & debrief with Alessandra

Thursday, April 9th: 6:30am @WSS *coach swap*
Men – 10min suicide & core switches (warmup); Day 1 Weights (original circuit – NOT intensification phase); 20min run (time pending); stretching & debrief with Mike
Women – Goal Setting Discussion & Crew Challenge (on the erg) with Alessandra; stretching & debrief

Friday, April 10th: 5:30am***LATER FOR THIS DAY ONLY @Leander Boat Club
Men (ALL) – Boat Cleaning & Final Rig Checks; Crew Run & Stairs; Team Meeting with Alessandra
Women (AM athletes only) – Rigging of the Rental 8+; Team Meeting with Mike

Saturday, April 11th: 5:45am @LBC
Men (AM athletes only) – practice from 5:45-8am
Women (AM athletes only) – practice from 5:45-8am
Men (PM ATHLETES ONLY РTODAY ONLY DUE TO FIRST ON-WATER DAY): 10:00-11:30am

For those of you wondering what a regular weekly schedule would look like for on-water training, please see the PDF here: Westdale Rowing 2015 РTraining Schedule (Timing)

See you all tomorrow morning at Westdale Secondary School (6:30am),
Alessandra


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Weekly Training, Boatings, & Parents Meeting PPT

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

Please find the PowerPoint from Thursday’s Parents’ Meeting here: Spring Season – Outdoor Rowing 2015 PPT. The only details missing from this are the Chili Cookoff specifics, and once I’ve obtained a copy of the Chili-Cookoff Info presentation I’ll post it.

Men’s Team:¬†You can find your training boatings & racing crews here:¬†Men’s Alpha List & Boating Details – WSS Men’s Team (Outdoor 2015).

Erg¬†Testing (6km/2km): All athletes will undergo testing this week. The Women’s Team will be completing their 2km tests, and the Men’s Team will be completing their 6km tests. Testing is a normal part of training and is meant to prepare you mentally and physically for racing. It also helps coaches determine your physical fitness, endurance, and strength (depending on the type of test). All athletes should expect to be tested regularly as part of training, particularly before going on-water (you should all do a 2km, 6km, or both).

WEEKLY TRAINING (Sunday, March 29th РApril 4th):

Sunday, March 29th: 12-3pm @Welland International Flatwater Centre
ALL РArrive prepared for a 3hr training session at the Welland International Flatwater Centre. You must wear rowing-appropriate attire. Practice begins at 12pm and ends at 3pm. Men & women will circulate through the tank, weights, ergs, and gym in shifts. Get directions here.

Monday, March 30th: 6:30-8am @Westdale 
Men –¬†Height Measurements, Warmup (suicides/core), 2x25min erg castles (Cat 5), Cooldown & Debrief *Final Movement Screen (Cooper/Evan)
Women – Warmup (suicides/core), 30min run, 3×300 circuit, Cooldown & Debrief

Tuesday, March 31st: 6:30-8am @Westdale 
Men – Warmup (10min run), Weights, Cooldown & Debrief
Women – Warmup, 2km Testing, Cooldown & Debrief

Wednesday, April 1st: 6:30-8am @Westdale 
Men – Warmup (10min run + dynamic stretching), 6km Testing, Cooldown & Debrief
Women – Warmup (10min run), Weights (Day 1), Cooldown & Debrief
***3:30pm @LBC – Women’s Orientation & Rigging¬†

Thursday, April 2nd: 6:30-8am @Westdale ***OUTDOOR FEES DUE***
Men – Warmup (10min suicides + dynamic stretching), CREW CHALLENGE, Results of Movement Screen Test, Cooldown & Debrief
Women – Warmup (10min run), Weights (Day 2), Cooldown & Debrief
***3:30pm @LBC – Men’s Orientation & Rigging

Friday, April 3rd: OFF

Saturday, April 4th: 9-11am @LBC, CREW BRUNCH, 1pm @LBC (Cox/Bow-Person Clinic)
***LBC session is mandatory for all outdoor athletes***

Sunday, April 5th: OFF

Monday, April 6th: TBD – Weather Pending (ON WATER!!!!)

Bunnies Erging - Easter

See you Sunday,
Alessandra


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Parents’ Meeting – TONIGHT @7pm in WSS Library

Dear Parents,

A friendly reminder that we have our Outdoor Rowing Parents’ Meeting tonight at 7pm in the WSS Library. This meeting is mandatory for all athlete parents, and athletes are also strongly encouraged to attend if they’ve got questions about training schedules (but it’s not mandatory for the athletes). Please ensure at least one parent per athlete (or per family, for parents with more than one athlete on the team) is present at the meeting.

The meeting will last approximately 30 minutes, with some extra time for questions at the end.

We will cover the following:

  • Rowing fees & waiver requirements + deadlines
  • RCA/LBC registration
  • Training schedule (arrival times/departures/mornings vs. afternoons/primary coaches)
  • Safety requirements (includes cold water rules & coaching ratio restrictions)
  • Important dates
  • Chili cookoff logistics (our big outdoor-season fundraiser)
Again, the meeting will last approximately 30 minutes. If you are unable to attend, then please contact your athlete’s primary coach (Men’s Team = Alessandra; Women’s Team = Mike Roche) as soon as possible.

Thanks!

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! ūüėÄ

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 LUNCH: Docks 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 ūüôā


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Mandatory Safety Video Training (TOMORROW) + Coaching Evaluation (Please Help!)

Hello Westdale,

Tomorrow Р6:40am (safety video): 
A friendly reminder that you should arrive by 6:40am (10min later than normal) for tomorrow’s practice, and you can wear regular school clothes. We will ALL be watching a mandatory safety video for on-water rowing. This is mandatory for every athlete rowing on-water this year, even if you’ve seen it before. Please be on time so that we can start the movie right away. Later in the month we’ll be asking everyone to complete a swim-test. For those of you that have completed bronze cross/NLS/etc., you can skip the swim test ONLY if you bring in a recent, valid, photocopy of your certification. These photocopies/images can be handed to your coach.

Help Needed: Coaching Assessment of Alessandra (quick survey)
I’m in need of honest feedback from athletes I currently coach¬†(not parents) as I’m completing¬†my RCA performance coach certification. Feedback is given through an anonymous survey (so you are encouraged to be honest and specific), and you’ll be asked to identify my weaknesses in addition to assessing my coaching abilities.

Please note: this survey is intended for current athletes that I coach/have coached. If I haven’t coached you, please do not fill out the survey – I need the responses to honestly reflect my coaching abilities (and weaknesses), which can only be done if you’ve had me coach you before. This means all of the men’s team is eligible to participate, and some of the women’s team will be able to participate, but only if I’ve coached you during practice.

Also, please read the survey carefully & please keep it real – I’d appreciate not having prank answers submitted. Here is the survey link:¬†https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RLHDRHW

If you can complete the survey by this weekend then that would be extremely helpful – THANK YOU!!! ūüôā¬†

See you in the morning,
Alessandra


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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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā
Alessandra