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
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.
You’ve made it! We’re now heading into the final few days before our biggest regatta of the season, the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Championships, hosted by the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association (“CSSRA”).
Now that the races are just a few days away, I’m posting some very important information about the training, racing, and year-end party.
Any questions regarding food signup (explained in the Parent Info document) should be sent to Dina Gadsdon (Dina’s contact info is also listed in the info document).
TRAINING & RACING INFORMATION:
1) De-rigging on Wednesday, June 3rd All boats must be derigged on Wednesday morning and loaded on the trailer following practice.
For the Men’s Team: The following boats must be derigged & loaded on Wednesday AM:
-Ad Astra (Luke/Max/Kieran/Erik)
-Stocks (Max/Kieran/HSC athletes)
The following boats can be derigged anytime before Thursday’s practice in St. Catharines:
-Gadsdon 1x *must be car-topped (practicing on Thursday AM)
-Heinbecker 1x *must be car-topped
2) Thursday Practice (June 4th): All athletes racing CSSRAs are expected to attend Thursday’s practice in St. Catharines, unless otherwise discussed with a coach. All athletes should meet me (Alessandra) at 11:00am at the entrance to the football field at the back of Westdale Secondary School. We will then take attendance & board the bus. I’ll be supervising the bus ride, and the other coaches will meet us there. For liability reasons, all athletes are expected to take the bus.
Practice Plan: -Arrive, rig boats & clean, eat lunch
-Session 1 (approx. 1-2:30)
-Debrief & snack
-Session 2 (approx. 3-4:30pm)
-Debrief & pack up *Each session enables crews to go in primary and secondary boats. Session time includes warmup, cooldown, and stretching. If you only have one boat to practice in on Thursday, then please bring extra homework/etc.
You must bring: -water
-food (bring a lunch & LOTS of snacks – we’ll be at the course from 12-5pm)
-change of clothes
-workout/training clothes (ideally NOT showing Westdale colours – it’s a tradition to wear non-school clothing so that other crews can’t tell which school you’re from until the day you race)
-yourself, on time (11am)
3) Preliminary Race Draw: The preliminary race draw has not yet been posted, but will be made available soon on the CSSRA website. Please check the main website to find a copy of the draw once it’s posted by clicking here: http://www.cssra.ca/
You must bring your unisuit, student ID (or photo ID with date of birth), food/water, sunscreen, and change of clothes. We also recommend that you bring a tent or place to rest in the shade. Arrival times for crews will be posted on Thursday, June 4th, once the race draw has been finalized.
Our End-of-Year Party will take place at 7pm at the Westdale Kelsey’s on Main St. West (across from the school) in the downstairs party room (basement section). All athletes and parents are invited. This includes athletes that practiced in afternoons OR mornings, injured athletes, and/or rowers that have already completed their season with the City Champs. The event is for everyone.
We will be handing out the following awards (***oooooh, ahhhh, awards!***) at the party:
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Men’s & Women’s Rookie of the Year
We will also be announcing any relevant information concerning Summer Rowing & Heart and Stroke Rowing opportunities.
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) *TEAMPHOTOAT11:18AM– MEETINWESTDALEFOYEROUTSIDEAUDITORIUMIN GREEN/GOLDROWINGGEAR* Thursday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Luke – 1x (Private)
Max/Kieran/Cooper/JJ – 4x (Ad Astra) Friday PM: Arnaud/Lucas/Harrison/Will/James (Hudson 4+) – with 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).
1) The Chili Cookoff ticket money is due tomorrow (Wednesday) at the latest. Please send your athletes to practice with either a cheque or cash for the tickets sold (we’re counting on each athlete family to have sold 8 tickets, amounting to $160 per athlete family). If you have unsold tickets, you must also return them tomorrow. This should be done before your practice begins. Ticket money and/or extra tickets should all be given to Brock Gadsdon OR to Alessandra Gage.
2) There will be NO after school practice on Thursday due to the Chili Cookoff. Setup begins at 4pm at Leander Boat Club/Bay City Music Hall, and we want to ensure athletes have time to arrive and assist. Arrival time for setup volunteers = 4pm Arrival time for other volunteers (e.g.: front table, raffle tickets, etc.) = 5:00pm/5:30pm Arrival time for food items = as early as you can while still keeping the Chili hot!
3) Training Plan – The schedule for outdoor season was posted over a week ago and many have forgotten, so I’m reposting the training schedule & plan for the remainder of this week to avoid any potential confusion. To be clear:Afternoon boats training with Alessandra are the singles (Jr. National Team/Spring Trials athletes) and the doubles (girls & boys).
Wednesday, April 15th:
-AM crews @5:15-7:40am at LBC (long distance & tech work – focus: clean finishes & body swing)
-PM crews *JNT/Trial singles & doubles* @3:30-5:30pm *crews with Alessandra off by 4:30pm (I have to work)
Thursday, April 16th:
-AM crews @5:15-7:40am at LBC (long distance & tech work – focus: recovery timing with feathering & squaring)
-CHILI COOKOFF @6pm at Bay City Music Hall (2nd floor of LBC – setup starts at 4pm, event starts at 6pm)
Friday, April 17th:
-AM crews @5:15-7:40am at LBC (mileage & pressure – focus: accelerating together as a crew through the drive to setup balance on the recovery)
-PM crews *JNT/Trial singles & doubles* @3:30-5:30pm
Saturday, April 18th:
-Session 1 (6-8am) at LBC – drill challenge
-Session 2 (10am-12pm) at LBC – drill challenge *crews attending this practice will be posted on Thurs/Friday*
Sunday, April 19th:
-10am-12pm Sculling session with Alessandra & Tom *only specific crews*
Future weeks will be posted this upcoming weekend. Do not expect a plan to be posted before that time, as we are still awaiting information on availability of athletes, boats, and coaches.
4) Videos & Tech Feedback/Analysis – Sr. Men’s 4x, Jr. Men’s 1x, Sr. LWT Women’s 2x
Video analysis for the PM crews (Jr. Men’s 1x & Sr. LWT Women’s 2x), plus the Sr. Men’s 4x from the AM crews, can be found here. Men’s Team & PM group: I will be rotating through footage of all of you, so you’ll all have an opportunity to get video feedback. Please be patient as I complete the rotations.
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.
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 availabletomorrow 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 – TODAY ONLY DUE TO FIRST ON-WATER DAY): 10:00-11:30am
Welcome back from March Break & to the official start of outdoor season training! 😀
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+ CREWLUNCH: 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)
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,
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
1) Cable 14 will air the video of Westdale Rowing training for the Mac 2×4 at 3pm tomorrow (Thursday, March 5th) on “Hamilton Life”. The episode with Katie Stewart (reporter) & Westdale will also repeat later in the evening. The video will be posted to their website within 7 days of the episode’s original air date (so it should be available on www.Cable14.com/HamiltonLife later next week). Heads-up: Online content is only available to cable internet subscribers. So, if you can’t view it online then be sure to check it out when it airs on TV tomorrow afternoon.
2) Transition Practices (Thurs/Fri) – Bring Footstraps
All teams will have a chance to practice their Mac 2×4 transitions this Thursday (women’s teams + coxswain team) and Friday (men’s teams). In order to practice, each team needs to bring their footstraps (made of cardboard & tape). If you don’t have footstraps, or if your original footstraps were destroyed at Monday’s practice, then please talk with your teammates to coordinate who will make them/bring them.
3) Crew Lunch – Options (PLEASE SIGN UP IF ATTENDING)
Please vote on where you’d like to have the team lunch on Saturday (March 7th) following the Mac 2×4 challenge by voting here: http://doodle.com/wstu5fvupw47xi32
The lunch will take place at 12:30pm (shortly after the HS races are done but with enough time for everyone to get changed). McMaster University has also opened up an invitation to any highschool athletes that want to join the university crews at 4pm at Boston Pizza, but we would need to provide them with numbers by Friday if Westdale rowers would prefer to join that later event.
See you in the morning,
…to clarify any uncertainty from this morning: Space Jam was released in 1996 before y’all were born. #toldyouso #mychildhood #youwerenotbornyet