Jim Joy’s Bio

Jim has enjoyed a successful competitive career both as an athlete and as a coach with a multi-sport background.

Before coming to rowing at age 15 Jim had competed in the following sports baseball, softball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, football, floor hockey where he excelled, and he would add intercollegiate wrestling as his 9th sport. He was a member of Ontario Championship teams for lacrosse and hockey. Before he was 15 he had the unique experience of playing lacrosse on two Indian Reservations, the Tuscaroras in Lewiston New York and the Mohawks in Brantford, Ontario.

Recruited by his college football teammates in the fall of his second year he quickly made the shift to Wrestling and won three Intercollegiate championships in the 130lb and 137lb classes. He was a part of the Championship 1958 Western team that won a unprecedented 6 of 8 individual championships.

Then for the following 15 years, he was fortunate to have had a Master Sculling Coach in Bob Fitzpatrick, who had worked with the undefeated Australian champion, Bob Pearce. Fitzpatrick taught an eclectic stroke pattern that included elements of Orthodoxy, Fairbairn and Pearce.

With this excellent foundation, Jim’s early coaching experiences include the University of Western Ontario, M.I.T, Yale and Wesleyan, where he organized a coaches’ conference and taught a graduate course on the philosophy of sport. A major initiative occurred in this period with his founding of the Craftsbury Sculling Camp: the camp would have a major impact on sculling in America. Jim continues to teach sculling each summer at Steve Wagner’s Black Bear Sculling Camp in Hanover, New Hampshire.

In the 1980’s, he returned to Canada as the Technical Director. His initiatives included the Apprenticeship program, small boat clinics, speed order trials, physiological testing, the bi– monthly Coaches’ Notes and the annual National Rowing Coaches’ Conference. The program was very successful with the Canadian crews winning more than 60 medals at various international competitions.

During this period he served on the Board of Directors for the Coaching Association of Canada (C.A.C. is responsible for the development and delivery of Coaching Education in Canada). From 1981 to 1995 Jim was a member of FISA’s Competitive Commission that was responsible for the successful Coaches’ Development Program. In these years, Jim made coaching presentations in various countries including Canada, Czechoslovakia, England, Egypt, Israel, Japan,and Scotland.

In 1985 he was selected with 3 others to be placed on the inaugural Wall of Fame for the University of Western Ontario Wrestling.

In 1989, he became Head Crew Coach of Hobart- Wm. Smith Colleges, employing a “Holistic” coaching approach, where he taught a course titled Mind, Body, and Spirit and organized the HWS Coaches’ Conference. From 1999 to the present this Conference has been staged at Saratoga as the Joy of Sculling Conference and in 2002 a similar conference was delivered in Seattle.

In 2009 he was inducted into the University of Western Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jim continues to research the concepts of Flow, Integral Coaching, Mental; training for Coaches and the Functional Athlete. Recently, Jim wrote a chapter on Mental Preparation for Racing in a book titled, Rowing Faster, an excellent compendium by rowing experts from around the world, edited by Dr. Volker Nolte.

Jim is also the author of two books. His first book, The Mind’s Eye: The Evolution of the Athletes’ Skills and Consciousness, was published in 2009. The contents reveal the core of the mental training methods used by Jimmy Joy from his time training under the master coach Bob Fitzpatrick to becoming a master coach himself. Jim’s latest book, Hanlan’s Spirit, was just released in December 2011. The book chronicles famed rower Ned Hanlan and his subtle and beautiful rowing stroke. This fantastic work breaks down the rowing stroke including the grip, catch, release, and everything in between.

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