December 13-15, 2019
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

We are please to announce the Joy of Sculling will be holding our annual conference in 2019!

The 27th Annual Joy of Sculling Coaches’ Conference will take place in Saratoga, NY from December 13-15, 2019.

Coaches from all levels from Juniors to Masters are invited to attend, engage in the dialogue, share and enjoy an educational weekend.



The chief objective of The Joy of Sculling Conference is to advance the programming of Integral Coaching at every opportunity in our powers. Integral coaching puts the athlete’s progress in sport and in life first. To this end, we have programmed mental training, physiological training, and technical training components into the program.

With this system in mind, the presenters are encouraged to create holistic presentations that address each part of the athlete. Participants are encouraged to receive and weave the material from each session into a holistic pattern for their coaching.

Coaches from all levels from Juniors to Masters are invited to attend, engage in the dialogue, share and enjoy an educational weekend at the Joy of Sculling Conference. This year, we are particularly pleased to offer presentations that will benefit and stimulate Head Coaches. It would be an excellent weekend for Head Coaches to refresh themselves. This is sizing up to be an exciting weekend full of information that you can use on Monday morning.

This Conference Qualifies for USRA Continuing Education Credit.


The Saratoga Hilton — Hotel and Conference Center
534 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866




This year we continue the specific coaching education track for women. Our goal is to create a space to open up more questioning, discourse, debate, and networking. The focus is to foster a culture of collaboration and mentoring. Above all, we want a space where we can learn from and empower each other.

  • Friday
    • Special Session 1 – Introductions [Broadway 1]
    • Special Session 2 – Megan Cooke Carcagno – Excellence Without Examples [Broadway 1]
    • Session 1 – Bebe Bryans – Conversations and Consequences [High Rock]
  • Saturday
    • Session 2 – Attend a Main Conference Workshop!
    • Session 3 – Laura Simon – How to Coach the Coxswain [High Rock]
    • Session 4 – Lori Dauphny – Sustaining Success [High Rock]
    • Coach’s Roundtable – Bebe Bryans [High Rock]
  • Sunday
    • Session 5  – Attend a Main Conference Workshop!
    • Session 6 – Wrap Up: Moving Forward [High Rock]


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Friday, December 13th

1-2:30 p.m. – Special Sessions 1

  • Women’s Track* – Introductions [Broadway 1]
  • Chris Chase – Building Team Harmony [Broadway 2]
  • Nich Lee Parker – Scullers Entry [Broadway 3]
  • Will Ruth – Reducing Low Back Pain and Rib Stress [Broadway 4]

2:30-2:45 p.m. – Coffee Break [Gallery]

2:45-4:15 p.m. – Special Sessions 2

  • Women’s Track* – Megan Cooke Carcagno  – Excellence Without Examples [Broadway 1]
  • Michiel Bartman – Bladework [Broadway 2]
  • Lori Dauphiny – Crew Placement [Broadway 3]
  • Dave Vogel – Recruiting vs Coaching [Broadway 4]

4:30-5:30 p.m. – Light Dinner for Special Session Attendees [Alabama/Travers]

5:40-6:50 p.m. – Conference Opening and Introduction:Keynote Address by Arshay Cooper – Making the Boathouse the Lighthouse [Saratoga Ballroom]

6:50-7:15 p.m. – Coffee Break [Gallery]

7:15-8:35 p.m. – Workshop Sessions #1

  • Women’s Track* – Bebe Bryans – Conversations and Consequences [High Rock]
  • Joe DeLeo – The Evolution of Strength and Condition for Rowing [Broadway 3]
  • Jesse Foglia  – Life as an Assistant Coach: Lessons Learned [Travers]
  • Al Morrow – Best Drills for Technique and Crew Compatibility [Broadway 2]
  • Volker Nolte – Principles of Selection [Broadway 1]
  • Mike Purcer – Gaining Speed on the Recovery [Alabama]
  • Peter Steenstra The Culture of Performance [Broadway 4]

8:35-9:35 p.m. – Wine & Cheese Social [Gallery]

Saturday, December 14th

6:30-7:30 a.m. – Optional Yoga [Saratoga 3]

8:30-9:50 a.m. – Workshop Sessions #2

  • Women’s Track* – Attend a Main Conference Workshop!
  • Paul Arciero – Carbohydrates and Endurance Exercise [Broadway 4]
  • Michiel Bartman – What I Learned from My Coaches [Broadway 1]
  • Arshay Cooper – Making the Boathouse the Lighthouse continued [Travers]
  • Lori Dauphiny – Sustaining Success [Alabama]
  • Laura Simon – Coaching the Coxswain [High Rock]
  • Eric Gehrke – The Drive Sequence [Broadway 2]
  • Dave Vogel – Recruiting vs Coaching [Broadway 3]

9:50-10:30 a.m. – Coffee Break [Gallery]

10:30-11:50 a.m. – Workshop Sessions #3

  • Women’s Track* – Laura Simon – How to Coach the Coxswain [High Rock]
  • Bebe Bryans – Coaching the Generation You Are Not: What Matters and What Doesn’t? [Travers]
  • Joe DeLeo and Will Ruth – Strength Training for Rowing 101 [Broadway 3]
  • Volker Nolte – Which performance can you expect when you get older and how can you train your best? [Broadway 4]
  • Nich Lee Parker – What is Inside the Black Box? [Alabama]
  • Peter Steenstra The Culture of Performance [Broadway 2]
  • Cadence Whittier – Move Well! Move Efficiently! [Broadway 1]

11:50-12:50 p.m. – Technology Corner

  • Hudson Boat Works [Broadway 1]

12:50-3:00 p.m. – Lunch (catered) and Annual Coaching Awards (included for all attendees) [Saratoga Ballroom]

3-4:20 p.m. – Workshop Sessions #4

  • Women’s Track* – Lori Dauphiny – Sustaining Success [High Rock]
  • Paul Arciero – Carbohydrates and Endurance Exercise [Travers]
  • Megan Cooke Carcagno Balancing Boats and Babies [Broadway 3]
  • Jesse Foglia – Using your Fall Season for Spring Speed [Broadway 4]
  • Al Morrow – Tips on Successful Training and Racing in a Variety of Water Conditions [Alabama]
  • Mike Purcer – Rigging Efficiency Data from World Championships [Broadway 2]
  • Cadence Whittier – Improving Movement Literacy and Body Awareness: Perspectives from Dance and Movement Analysis [Broadway 1]

4:50-6 p.m. – The Coach’s Roundtable

To help foster the sharing of ideas and to create a space for open dialog, we are continuing the Coach’s Roundtable. The roundtable will be an open forum lead by one presenter and have at most twenty attendees. The topics are left up to the group and everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussion. Rooms will be set up with the seats in a circle to help promote discussion. There will only be 21 seats in each room, once those seats are full please respect that space and move to another room. There will be no signing up in advance, this will be a first come first serve basis.

  • Women’s Track* – Bebe Bryans [High Rock]
  • Paul Arciero [Travers]
  • Arshay Cooper [Broadway 4]
  • Mark Davis [Phila]
  • Nich Lee Parker [Alabama]
  • Mike Purcer [Broadway 2]
  • Laura Simon [Broadway 3]
  • Peter Steenstra [Broadway 1]

6:05-7:05 p.m. – Beer Social: Sponsored by Nielsen-Kellerman [Gallery]

Sunday, December 15th

7:30-8 a.m. – Coffee Break [Gallery]

8-9:15 a.m. – Workshop Sessions #5

  • Women’s Track* – Attend a Main Conference Workshop!
  • Aquino – Making the Boathouse the Lighthouse [Broadway 2]
  • Bebe Bryans – Conversations and Consequences [Travers]
  • Joe DeLeo –  The Evolution of Strength and Conditioning for Rowing [Broadway 3]
  • Al Morrow – Best Drills for Technique and Crew Compatibility [Broadway 4]   
  • Volker Notle –  Principles of Selection [Broadway 1]
  • Mike Purcer – Rigging Efficiency Data from World Championships [Alabama]

9:30-10:45 a.m. – Workshop Sessions #6

  • Women’s Track* – Wrap Up: Moving Forward [High Rock]
  • Paul Arciero – Pre-Race and Post-Race Nutrition [Alabama]
  • Jessie Foglia – Life as an Assistant Coach: Lessons Learned [Broadway 4]
  • Eric Gehrke – The Drive Sequence [Travers]    
  • Nich Lee Parker – What is Inside the Black Box? [Broadway 1]
  • Will Ruth – Reducing Low Back Pain and Rib Stress Injuries [Broadway 2]
  • Peter Steenstra – The Culture of Performance [Broadway 3]


Michiel Bartman

Michiel Bartman is currently an assistant coach at Temple University for the women’s program. Prior to Temple he has coached at Vesper BC, Harvard and Port Rowing. Before he started coaching in the USA, Michiel was a 12 time national team member for the Netherlands. He won Olympic Gold in the 8+ at the 1996 Olympics, silver in the 4x at the 2000 Olympics and silver in the 8+ at the 2004 Olympics.

Good bladework is essential for fast boats. Are we looking at perfection or can it a bit ‘messy’ and still make the boat go fast, how can squaring help with the speed of the boat, what about the grip, body position, pickup, etc? In this topic we will look at the importance of bladework and how we can improve it.

What I Learned from My Coaches
Over the course of my rowing/coaching career I had the privilege to work with excellent coaches. When I was a rower, I kind of considered them as surrogate parents: what can I learn from them, what do I want to do differently? From my start as a professional coach in 2005 to now I observe not just my rowers, but also coaches. What do they teach me and how can apply it to myself to become a better coach and person?

Bebe Bryans

Bryans is in her 15th season leading the women’s openweight and lightweight rowing programs at the University of Wisconsin. Bryans and the Badgers have been a successful marriage, with the Bryans-led openweights reaching the NCAA championships for 10 consecutive seasons and in 12 of the last 13 years. The streak is highlighted by a program-best seventh-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Championships. The result went one better than the program’s eighth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships under Bryans. Most recently, the team rowed to its second consecutive ninth-place finish, using its sixth-place second varsity eight and seventh-place varsity four to power to the 2017 team result.

Conversations and Consequences
In the rowing world, knowledge equals power. In the coaching world, utilizing that knowledge is critical. This clinic will focus on communicating effectively, both on and off the water, in a positive and productive way to a variety of populations.

Coaching the Generation You are Not – What Matters and What Doesn’t
You can always do what you have always done, but is it still getting you what you want?  Whether you are just beginning your coaching career or have a few sunrises under your belt, staying relevant is a great goal.  Your population WILL change and knowing how to coach in a way that resonates with everyone will help you reach that goal.  This clinic will address the cultural changes you may see and how to be ready for them.

Chris Chase

Chris Chase started coaching in 1996 when he founded the Saratoga Rowing Association, while teaching social studies at the local high school. Since its inception, the club has grown into one of the largest in the country. As a coach, Chase’s crews have won or medaled at the American Schoolboys, Canadian Schoolboys, Stotesbury Cup, Youth National Championships and Head of the Fish.

Building Team Harmony
Getting everyone on the same page so the boat and team runs smoothly.  

The Drive Sequence
This talk will look at the drive phase of the stroke for both sculling and sweep rowing.  How to improve it and make it most efficient.

Megan Cooke Carcagno

Megan Cooke Carcagno has led a rowing renaissance since her arrival in Durham for the 2015-16 campaign. Her Blue Devils have been ranked for 23 consecutive weeks, the longest streak in program history, and she has led the Duke to its first NCAA Championships appearance. Cooke Carcagno was named Duke University’s second head rowing coach on July 28, 2015. She arrived in Durham after spending seven years as a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff.

Excellence Without Examples
In a sport with very few gender role models, how women in coaching can find confidence, mentoring  and support with so few female head coaches in the field. We’ll explore steps we can take to overcome gender barriers, lack of same sex peers and current struggles facing women in departments traditionally populated with men.

Balancing Boats and Babies
A round table discussion on the practices of balancing families and coaching careers. We’ll discuss common misconceptions about being a dedicated parent and coach, how to find solutions that avoid altering life goals, and where we can strategize with best practices to find peace and success in every aspect of life.

Arshay Cooper

Arshay Cooper is a Benjamin Franklin Award-Winning Author, USRowing Golden Oars winner, Row New York staff member, and Motivational Speaker. Arshay has spent his life cultivating a unique set of experiences that make him a much sought-after speaker to audiences ranging from professional athletes to high school students. In the 1990s, Arshay captained the first all-black public high school rowing team in the U.S. After College, Arshay traveled as a celebrity chef, coached, and founded the Eastside Rowing Program. Arshay is now an active rower and spend his time helping rowing clubs diversify and develop their programs. His memoir Suga Water is now being made into a Documentary that will release February 2020 and is produced by Olympic rower Mary Mazzio and NBA player Dwyane Wade.

Making the Boathouse the Lighthouse
How do we get our boathouse to reflect the diversity in our city and in our country?
In this workshop, Arshay Cooper will discuss these important topics: How to recruit
athletic students from under-resourced communities, retention, and creating a thriving diverse rowing culture that provokes young rowers to be contributors and leaders in their community.

Lori Dauphiny

Two-time National Coach of the Year Lori Dauphiny will enter her 23rd year as the head coach of women’s open crew in 2019, and she has led Princeton University to an unprecedented era of success over her career. Under Dauphiny, Princeton has won two V8+ NCAA Championships and nine Ivy League crowns, and the Tigers will enter the 2018 season having won 61 of its last 65 Ivy League dual races.

The success has been incredible this decade. Since a magical 2011 season, when Princeton went undefeated and won its second NCAA V8+ championship, the Tigers have won six of the last eight Ivy League championships. Over the last three years, Princeton has both shocked reigning No. 1 boat Brown to win the Ivy title (2016) and capped a perfect regular season with a Cooper River record-setting, wire-to-wire win for a second straight title (2017).

Crew Placement
Who goes in what seat and why? This talk will discuss the building a crew to maximize everyone’s ability and talent.

Sustaining Success
This talk will look at how the Princeton women’s team has been able to sustain a high level of success over decades.

Joe DeLeo

Joe DeLeo is a full time Strength & Conditioning Coach at Lawrence Memorial Hospital Performance & Wellness Center in Lawrence, Kansas. He coaches inside a sports performance and physical therapy clinic at Rock Chalk Park. He works with athletes returning directly from sports rehabilitation as well as athletes focused on performance in the sports of baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, swimming, track & field, and volleyball.

In addition to his full-time strength & conditioning position he owns and operates LEO Training. LEO Training focuses on high performance and injury rehabilitation for the sport of rowing by providing content, education, and seminars to the rowing community.

In 2018, he helped lead a rowing camps at the Avizaqcua Team Center in Avis, Portugal with Dr. Mads Rasmussen and act as a consultant with the USA U23 Lightweight Rowing Team with Nathaniel Kielt.

Joe is passionate about empowering his students and athletes to improve their health, life and athletic performance through a process-oriented approach that yields results in movement, strength, power and injury resilience.

He uses many modalities to train his athletes. These include kettlebells, barbell, bodyweight, indian clubs, the gada, and suspension trainers. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He also holds certifications as a Functional Movement Specialist Level II, Rocktape FMT II, and is a Level I Girya and Bodyweight Instructor with StrongFirst. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he can be found both off and on the water, helping his rowers get stronger and faster!

LEO Training, is the resource for strength & conditioning and injury rehabilitation for the sport of rowing.

The Evolution of Strength and Condition for Rowing
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Portuguese Rowing Federation, Joe DeLeo, will examine historical approaches and practices for strength and conditioning in rowing. Attendees will learn current best practices and principles vs. traditional methods that are outdated.

Strength Training for Rowing 101
Boathouse Strength Training for Rowing: Want to start strength training for rowing, but don’t know where to start? Join rowing strength coaches Joe DeLeo and Will Ruth for an introduction to evidence-based strength training practices to build better rowers, how to assess specific weaknesses in rowers, and how to improve technique, performance, and resilience to injury through rowing-specific strength training. This presentation will also include hands-on demonstrations of simple exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere, for juniors, college, and masters rowers of all levels.

Jesse Foglia

Assistant Coach of Heavyweight Crew at Harvard University Assistant coach at Harvard, U.S.A. Jr. National Team Coach

Jesse enters his third season with the Harvard men’s heavyweight crew team as an assistant coach. He will help oversee all aspects of the program after spending three years with the Columbia lightweight team. Jesse has spent the last eight years on the coaching staff of the U.S. Men’s Junior National team and was also a member of the inaugural Joy of Sculling Apprenticeship program.

Life as an Assistant Coach: Lessons Learned
This workshop is geared for assistant coaches. Over the last 14 years I have spent the majority of my time working as an Assistant Coach for various levels and types of programs. Though each experience I have learned how to more effectively support the program vision or the head coach and create a coaching team approach. I will share some of my experience as well as cultivate a discussion about lessons learned.

Using Your Fall Season for Spring Speed
With the spring so far on the horizon it can often feel as though the connection between what we do during the fall has little impact come spring. We will look at ways to maximize your non traditional season to set you up for success come spring.

Liz Fusco, MS, RDN

Performance Dietitian, USRowing National Teams
Sports Dietetic Consultant, United States Olympic Committee

Liz a Registered Dietitian specializing in sports nutrition for elite endurance athletes. She completed her undergraduate degree in dietetics and kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island from 2007-2011, where she was a member of the URI Rams sailing team. Liz was an assistant in the Energy Balance Laboratory under Professor Kathleen Melanson, and also contributed to exercise science research studies. Liz attended San Diego State University from 2011-2014 to pursue concurrent masters’ degrees in nutrition science and exercise physiology, and began working with Team USA athletes and staff as a graduate assistant. She completed her dietetic internship through the University of Houston in Houston, TX. After acquiring her RD credential in April 2014, Liz returned to the USOC as a consultant to the endurance sports leading up to and throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Liz joined the staff of USRowing as their first full-time sports dietitian in the Fall of 2016. She continues to consult with USA Triathlon athletes aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Carbohydrates and Endurance Exercise: Why, When, and How Much?
In our current dietary landscape, carbohydrates tend to get a bad rap. Learn about the role of carbohydrates in health and endurance exercise performance, and how to adjust or “periodize” your intake to meet the demands of different types of training days in this discussion.

Pre- and Post- Competition Nutrition
Fueling for an event should be simple and intuitive, but the timing of regattas can make following a nutrition plan a bit challenging. Whether you are an athlete or coach, this talk will help you to create successful strategies for planning pre- and post-competition meals and snacks.

Gordon Getsinger

Gordon Getsinger began rowing in 2001 at the Salisbury School in North Western CT. In 2004 Gordon began attending UC Berkeley, rowing four consecutive years at the varsity level. During his time at Cal his freshman boat remained undefeated for the year, ultimately winning a national championship. Later his boats went on to win two Pac Ten Championships and a silver medal at the national championship in 2008.

 In 2014 Gordon was hired for the varsity girls assistant coaching position at Saugatuck Rowing Club. While acting as an assistant coach, the Saugatuck varsity girls won the 2014 Head of the Charles, the light weight 8 national championship, the heavyweight eight national championship and a bronze in the pair. In the following year Gordon became the head coach, a title he currently holds. Since Gordon has taken on the position of head coach his Varsity girls have won the Head of the Charles and the Youth National Championships four times consecutively. Over the last several years Gordon has seen, first hand, the importance of developing a team culture that values a combined effort. Gordon also provides his rowers with a strong understanding of body mechanics and technique.

Developing Team Culture
Since beginning coaching in 2010 I have had ample time to reflect on what has made my rowers successful. Our girls are not necessarily all exceptional athletes, however they are all exceptional people. They have amazing focus, drive and passion for the sport of rowing. During my talk I will illustrate the importance of: a strong team vision, identifying team leaders, listening to your athletes, trusting your gut and the crucial element of building off defeat.

Al Morrow

Al Morrow has coached all levels of rowing from 1976 until 2016. For the last 2 years he has been the Coordinator of the Rowing Canada Mentorship program.

His successes include coaching at 9 Olympic Games and coaching 8 Olympic medalist crews (4 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze) and numerous medalists at the World Rowing Championships.

Al has been a regular presenter at the JOS Conference and embellishes his practical Coaching tips with lots of great stories.

Tips on Successful Training and Racing in a Variety of Water Conditions
Most if not all training and racing occurs when there are different water conditions due to the wind. This workshop will discuss all the ways a Coach can prepare your rowers to row better in various conditions.

The 3 general types of conditions  that will be discussed will be head wind, tailwind and crosswind. All of these and even flat water conditions can have unique approaches technically, psychologically and even with the boats rigging that will help your rowers handle them better  in training and on race day

The Best Drills for Improving Rowing Technique and Crew Compatibility
This workshop will discuss the best drills that can be done in training to enhance better rowing. Drills have a variety of beneficial purposes including teaching and refining technique, crew compatibility, having fun and adding variety to training sessions and even the ability to concentrate better. In general, this workshop will discuss the best drills that a coach can consider using and there will be ample time for discussion during the time allotted ….. bring your favourite drills to the workshop!

Volker Nolte

Dr. Volker Nolte holds the position of assistant professor teaching biomechanics and coaching, and is the head rowing coach at the Western University. Since 1993, Nolte’s leadership has led the Western Mustangs men’s rowing team to twelve Ontario University Athletics Championships and five Canadian University Rowing Championships. Since he took over the women’s team in 2010 they won two Ontario University Athletics Championships and one Canadian University Rowing Championships. 2008 and 2013 were particularly successful years for the Western Mustang Rowers. In 2008, they won the German University Championships, the Temple Challenge Cup at the Royal Henley Regatta against 74 other crews from around the world and in November the Canadian University Championships. In addition, Nolte was the lightweight men’s national team coach with the German Rowing association from 1984-1990 and Rowing Canada Aviron from 1992 to 2000. His national team crews won an Olympic silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, two World Championship titles in 1993 and 2000, and several more medals at World Championships.

Nolte received both a Physical Education Diploma (1976) and a Civil Engineering Diploma (1979) from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany), and a PhD (1984) from the German Sport University in Cologne (Germany) in Biomechanics. For all his work in coach education, he received in Jan. 2013 the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Principles of Selection – One of the Most Difficult Coaching Tasks Needs Some Guidance
Selecting athletes for a boat or a team is one of the most difficult tasks for coaches, since there will be always a number of athletes who need to be told that they will not make the crew or team. Good coaches realise that they are accountable to all athletes and should be able to explain why they choose a certain selection method, how the selection process was conducted and how decisions were made.

Experiences of selection can be painful for athletes and coaches. Therefore, it is important to have a good plan.

Coaches have to carefully design their selection process and run it what is called “fairly”. There are very clear criteria that can be used to assess a selection process and coaches should use them to make sure that their selection is done well.

Which Performance Can You Expect When you Get Older and How Can You Train Best?
Masters rowing enjoys a steady increase in participation and there are quite different ways to pursue rowing at an older age. For whichever goal a Masters rower has for their involvement there are best practices to achieve the most satisfaction of every individual. One needs to understand the different goals for participants in masters rowing and then learn how best to achieve them.

Therefore, we need to learn opportunities and limitations, as well as best practices for older athletes to coach them appropriately.

Not everyone can be nor should be a Sir Stephen Redgrave who achieved Olympic Gold medals well into his masters rowing age, but we can learn from him, as well as newer research how to approach masters rowing training.

Nich Lee Parker        

Nich Lee Parker, who has been with Columbia lightweight rowing during an unprecedented run of medal winning appearances at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, is in his seventh year as head coach. He has guided the Lions to two of the last three national titles and medaled at the IRA’s in five of his six seasons at the helm.

In 2016, the Lions got off to a strong start, finishing 11-1 in the regular season and winning a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints in the varsity eight. At the 2016 IRA National Championship, the Lions had a breakthrough day of racing. The coxed four won silver, while the varsity eight took control of the title race and won gold by nearly a length. The win represents the first national championship in rowing for Columbia since 1929 and the first ever IRA National Championship for the lightweight men.

During the 2018 regular season, Columbia lost just once and swept its cup races for the first time since 2003 in the varsity eight. In the second varsity eight, the Lions posted an undefeated mark, which is believed to be the first time that feat has ever been achieved by a lightweight JV boat.

Prior to Lee Parker’s time leading the lightweights, he served as an assistant for both the lightweight men and the heavyweight men at Columbia. Additionally, he was a heavyweight coach at Yale from 2007 to 2009 and coached the USRowing Junior National Team from 2008 to 2010. He coached the freshmen men’s squad at Purdue University in 2007, where they won a bronze at the Dad Vail National Invitational.

Sculler’s Entry
The sculler’s entry is the product of exploring the catch through observation, first in the waterman who rowed on the river Thames and later by esteemed coaches such as Steve Fairbairn, Bob Fitzpatrick, the Pocock brothers, and Jimmy Joy. The movement of the blade responds dynamically to the speed of the hulls as it slips or slices in, picking up the speed of the boat, with an athletic purpose that is intricately connected to the whole stroke. We will discuss how you can apply this technique to increase the awareness and skill of your athletes in creating speed.

What is Inside the Black Box?
Creating and sustaining a winning culture where it hasn’t existed before.

Mike Purcer

Mike is a regular presenter at coaching conferences on various aspects of rigging and rowing technique. His current work involves the development and analysis of boat speed curves to provide coaches a detailed look at rigging efficiency and identify opportunities for boat speed improvements through technique changes. Mike has captured data and analyzed crews at the World Championships in an effort to develop standards on curve geometry for various boat classes. Mike is self-employed and his company Purcerverance provides coaching development services for individuals and teams. He is currently the Technical Advisor to the Brock University Rowing program in St. Catharines.

Gaining Speed on the Recovery
The boat reaches its’ greatest speed on the recovery. This presentation will focus on boat speed as a symptom of how the athlete moves between the finish and the next catch.  Mike will explore rowing technique and the simultaneous movements of the torso (swing), arms and hands as the footstops are pulled towards the seat on the recovery.  Video of rowing technique in practice will be contrasted with that at race rate to highlight the similarities and differences of what we coach and how the crew performs in competition.  This promises to be a lively discussion and challenge traditional thinking related to recovery movements.    

Rigging Efficiency Data from World Championships
Rigging efficiency can be measured using, drive time, blade slip, effective stroke length, stroke position, rate and ratio.  Mike has been measuring these factors over a number of years at the World Rowing Championships and will be providing insight to average measurements for various boat classes.  The data presented will also be linked to crew finish positions to identify which measurements of rigging analysis are starting to appear as performance factors.  Rigging charts are a good place to start but learning how to measure rigging efficiency may provide your crew the opportunity to improve performance.  

Laura Simon

Laura is the assistant women’s rowing coach at Yale University. Prior to that see was the assistant rowing coach at UMass.

Coaching the Coxswain
We will discuss getting the most out of the coxswains seat by knowing their skill set and how to coach it.

Peter Steenstra

Peter Steenstra was named head rowing coach at Bates in March 2009, after stints as assistant and interim head coach. In his first full year as head rowing coach at Bates, Steenstra led the women’s rowing team to second place at the 2009 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships, the highest team finish by any Bates team in an NCAA championship. The team matched that feat at the 2010 NCAA Championships, repeating as the national runner-up, then did it for the third year in a row in 2011, coming closer than ever to the team’s goal of an NCAA Championship. In the summer of 2009, Steenstra led the men’s rowing team on a trip to compete in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in Henley, England, after the men earned a No. 3 final Northeast regional ranking in the spring season.

Steenstra served as Bates’ assistant rowing coach during the 2007-08 academic year, then was named interim coach in July 2008. Steenstra helped coach both the Bobcat men and women to successful years while also acting as the programs’ recruiting coordinator. The women’s team finished fifth at the 2008 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships in their second straight appearance at nationals, while the men’s varsity eight ranked No. 5 in New England.

Under Steenstra’s leadership, both the men’s and women’s rowing programs have continued to flourish. The women’s first varsity eight finished second out of 32 boats at the Head of the Charles in the fall of 2008, and were ranked No. 3 in the Spring 2009 preseason College Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing preseason rankings.

Steenstra has vast experience in rowing, beginning with his career on the men’s varsity eight at Hobart College, where he graduated in 1996. Steenstra coached the men’s and women’s novice crews at Colby College for three years, then was the head coach of the men’s and women’s crew club at The Ohio State University from 1999 to 2006. Steenstra also coached at Cornell University, first as varsity assistant coach of the heavyweight men and then as the assistant women’s coach, while earning a master of science degree in sports management from Ithaca College.

Coach’s Roundtable
Peter will be leading one of our Coach’s Roundtable discussions on Saturday afternoon.

Will Ruth

Will Ruth is a rowing strength coach and former rower who focuses on helping you row stronger, faster, healthier, and longer.

Will rowed in high school, then came to Western Washington University and played club lacrosse and majored in Kinesiology. He started coaching during a year-long internship with the varsity track and field team (2012-2013), then began coaching the men’s rowing team after that. He graduated in 2014 with a BS in Kinesiology, emphasis in Sport Psychology. Will was also a full-time on-water assistant coach as well as strength coach for the 2016-2017 seasons, and coached high school lacrosse from 2014-2018.

Will started his website in 2015 as a resource for the WWU athletes who wanted to put extra effort in outside of practice. It turned out there were other rowers and coaches out there also frustrated by a lack of accessible content and seeking better, more modern information on strength training for rowing. He found that his articles and videos were getting picked up around the web with an audience rapidly expanding far beyond Bellingham, WA. Will wrote an e-book, “Rowing Stronger: Strength Training to Maximize Your Rowing Performance,” in 2015, published by worldwide rowing education company Rowperfect UK. He re-launched his website in 2018 as to share his knowledge with other rowers and coaches to help everyone row stronger, faster, healthier, and longer. The book was a hit, and in 2019, we published a much-updated second edition based on feedback, questions, and my 3+ years of coaching and learning since the first edition.

In other rowing coaching, Will has also volunteered with an adaptive rowing program, regularly do online consultations and coaching, guest write at Rowperfect UK and co-host a podcast at Rowing.Chat, and have provided coach/athlete-education workshops on strength training for rowing.

Will went back to school in 2016, in University of Denver’s MA in Sport Coaching online program. He also hold a US-Rowing Level 2 certification and am a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS).

Will is now a guest coach at the Craftsbury Sculling Center, assisting with their sculling camps and teaching strength training workshops whenever I get the chance.

Strength Training for Rowing 101
Boathouse Strength Training for Rowing: Want to start strength training for rowing, but don’t know where to start? Join rowing strength coaches Joe DeLeo and Will Ruth for an introduction to evidence-based strength training practices to build better rowers, how to assess specific weaknesses in rowers, and how to improve technique, performance, and resilience to injury through rowing-specific strength training. This presentation will also include hands-on demonstrations of simple exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere, for juniors, college, and masters rowers of all levels.

Reducing Low Back Pain and Rib Stress Injuries in Rowing
Low back pain is the leading cause of missed training sessions, and affects up to 52% of rowers in a given year of competitive training. Rib stress injuries affect up to 15% of rowers, and result in the most missed total training time due to the long recovery of a bone injury. Rowing strength coach Will Ruth breaks down why these injuries have been increasing since the 1990s, and an evidence-based plan for rowers, strength coaches, and rowing coaches to reduce injuries on the road to peak performance.

Dave Vogel

Dave Vogel coached lightweights and heavyweights over 29 years at Yale, the country’s oldest collegiate rowing program, where he was instrumental in saving the lightweights from being abolished 40 years ago, and saw a number of his athletes make the national team. He has also coached the national team, with a 1988 world’s silver medal to show for it, at Craftsbury, at Northeast Sculling and Rowing Camp, and at New Haven Rowing Club, where he was among the first members, and he has recently worked with Wes Ng and the Trinity and Penn women.

Recruiting vs Coaching
This talk will try to identify essentials of coaching in a world dominated by recruiting. Sort of mentoring on the coaching side of the recruiting/coaching equation. The dangers of not paying enough attention to both and the need to keep separate. Mentioning the increasing need for recruiting in every college program then moving on to coaching. Weak recruiting can negatively affect coaching style and performance, how does one stay focused on positive coaching performance.

Cadence Whittier

Cadence Whittier (MFA, CLMA, RSMT) is a Professor of Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she teaches courses in anatomy and kinesiology, Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (L/BMA), and contemporary dance technique. She is also Director and Faculty for Integrated Movement Studies, an organization that offers training and certifications in L/BMA in the USA, South Korea, and Ukraine. As a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist and professional dancer, Cadence enjoys offering workshops in somatic education, movement analysis, and physical conditioning.

Move Well! Move Efficiently!
Whittier will physically guide the presentation attendees through a series of movement exercises designed to enhance an athlete’s body awareness and physical skills. These exercises explore fundamental movement concepts essential to sculling:

  • Greater spinal articulation and mobility
  • Enhanced spinal and pelvic alignment when on the erg and in dry land warm-ups
  • Clear spatial intent through the arms and upper body
  • Elasticity in overworked muscles
  • Greater coordination between the lower and upper body and between the arms and the scapulae
  • Maximal (and efficient) use of key core/trunk muscles

This is a full-bodied movement class (observers are also welcome).

Improving Movement Literacy and Body Awareness: Perspectives from Dance and Movement Analysis
Alternating between lecture and movement, Whittier will present a series of standing, sitting, and erg exercises that help athletes increase their body awareness and movement literacy. Presentation attendees will physically explore some of these exercises and will discuss how to integrate the movement concepts into dry land practices. Collectively these activities focus on developing, 1) coordination between the upper and lower body, 2) spinal stability and mobility, 3) spatial clarity and intent, and 4) breath support. Coaches will leave the presentation with new movement ideas and exercises to incorporate into off-water training.


We look forward to seeing you at the conference. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Contact Us >>>

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