This week's video comes to us via the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, and features an inside look at the recent quad camp there, which included Craftsbury Green Racing Project's John Graves, Potomac's Willy Cowles, and California Rowing Club scullers Derek Johnson and Hans Struzyna. The camp was put together by CRC head coach Bernhard Stomporowski, and, in the words of John Graves, served as a way to encourage greater collaboration between clubs and training centers looking to develop elite athletes and crews. Here's an excerpt from a post Graves' wrote for his blog, Jaunting, about the camp:
"The majority of our rowing was low intensity, but we did a couple of 3k pieces with some of the other boats at the TC; most notably the women's 2x and light women's 2x who have showed medalist speed over the past couple of years."This allowed them to compare some percentages, and get a sense for how the lineup performed by the numbers. (You can read the whole post here.)
At the heart of the matter is one of the key problems with the trials system in place in the U.S., which is that many athletes are dispersed across the country, training in small groups, rather than in one, centralized place allowing for maximum intra-squad competition, and (theoretically) as a result, the most competitive lineup in the end. In his post, Graves deals with the guilt that he feels about training with another satellite group—a natural reaction, but something that shouldn't be an issue if the bottom line is speed. This is a topic for a much longer discussion, but is worth noting here because of the unnecessary psychological weight it placed on one of the top scullers in the U.S.—something that, despite best intentions, can prevent even the best athletes from achieving their potential.
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