Policies of the Granby Crew Head Coach Written by Paul Coslick Coaches Coaches are the ultimate authorities in the boathouse. They are the first and last source for planning and execution. All coaches report to the head coach. Captains Captains are student leaders of the team. They are expected to represent the epitome of high school athletes at all times. They will set the example for the students that they lead, and provide positive direction only. Captains report directly to the coach(es). They assist the coach(es) to ensure that practice runs smoothly, and that all members of the team are held to high standards of sportsmanship. Captains hold no direct authority over students, and cannot punish any student for actions taken with, or away from the team. In the event a captain determines that disciplinary action is required, they will notify the coach, who will then take the appropriate steps to address the issue. Coxswains Coxswains are the third component of the team leadership triangle. - They are given great responsibility related to management and safety during practices and races. As a result, the coxswain’s authority whenever rowing in, or handling a shell is absolute. Only the coach may overrule their directions. Each rower in a shell is charged with aiding the coxswain in recognizing possible safety issues. - Coxswains are designated by the coach, and seated in boats according to skill and experience. Once given the practice or race plan, coxswains are charged with ensuring their boat completes that plan. Rowers may not question the decisions of the coxswain. - Coxswains may suggest to the coach that disciplinary action be taken for student actions. Coxswains will carry a tool kit on the water for every practice. This kit will include: water bottles, athletic tape, whistle, 10mm wrench, 7/16” wrench, wing-nut tool, and stopwatch. Coxswains are responsible for the condition of their own kit. - 2 water bottles are required for practice in a 4+; 4 are required for practice in an 8+ - Hot days and long practices require more water. Coxswains will recognize this, and add bottles to their kit. (For health reasons, no water bottle should be used by more than one person, unless it can dispense the water without touching the mouth of the recipient.) - Water bottles will be washed after each practice. Coxswains, and other team members if necessary, will take turns washing all bottles at home and returning them to the next practice. Unless none are available, cox-boxes must be used on the water. Coxswains in 8+ and bow- loader shells will have first priority for cox-boxes. After each practice, cox-boxes will be thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and then properly stored. Students Responsibilities Crew is a large sport, where students are put in charge of equipment with high dollar values and work together to ensure success. Each of us must meet our responsibilities. - Safety – It is everyone’s responsibility. Speak up! Override everyone with your concerns to ensure that no one gets hurt, and nothing gets broken. - Property – Care for all team and personal property as if it were your own. On water practice days, place your bags in a coach’s car for security. - Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco – These substances are banned for all team members at all times, not just during crew-related events. They damage your performance, damaging the whole team. - Performance-Enhancing Substances – We do not need chemicals to make us faster. Our goal is to be OUR best, not the best that cheating can make us. - Announcements – Listen up and follow through. Pass it on to your parents if needed. - Attendance / Absences – The rules are clear. Your attendance determines your eligibility to compete. Crew depends on an entire team, so be a part of it. Even one person being late can delay the entire practice. Show up on time, and ready to row. - Contribute – There is a lot to get done at practices and races. Everyone will pitch in. Students found to be ignoring this fact will be given something else to do. - Ask questions – Come to the coach with questions ASAP. They want to answer them. Sportsmanship This is a responsibility of each team member that requires further elaboration. - Profanity will not be tolerated. Rare occurrences will be dealt with informally. Repetition of the problem will result in disciplinary action. - Respect is vital to team cohesion, because everyone is vital to the team. Any student showing a lack of respect for another person will receive disciplinary action. - Yelling is a tool for safety and motivation only. Every member of the team will speak in a civilized manner. Justified yelling will be positive, and followed by explanation. Study Hall The rules of practice extend to study hall. It is a vital part of our team’s success, and disruptions will not be tolerated. Poor behavior in study hall will be grounds for disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions Formal discipline is a suspension from the team for a period to be set by the coach. Informal discipline is usually calisthenics, or individual discussion. Only coaches may issue discipline. Coxswains and Captains may suggest informal discipline for minor infractions. Parents and Families Practices Parents and families should remain separate from the team during practice. - Please do not interrupt our routine unless necessary. - Coaches may be consulted for a very brief period before practice, since we should focus on the day’s plans. Discussions with coaches should be held after practice if possible. Watching practice is acceptable on rare occasions. Requests will be dealt with individually, and will depend greatly on the day’s circumstances. Viewing on the water is the most difficult, but also the most rewarding. Races Parents are both support staff and spectators for races. Enjoy them and contribute. - Students have many responsibilities at a race. Allow them to focus on the day’s events. - The team tents are a social area where interactions are casual. Keep things positive. - The boat trailer and surrounding areas are all business. Stay away and let us work. - Schedules are set for a reason. Please support them, but don’t be shocked if they change. Lineups for races are set in the preceding week, but can change on the day of. Their basis is summarized below. Do not question lineups on race day. Student Responsibilities Parents and families should be aware of the student responsibilities listed above. Please help to ensure that all rules are followed and tasks are completed. Adult assistance is most appreciated in the areas of attendance, health, security, and paperwork. Participation Rules Excused Absences - Spring (varsity season, so we take attendance seriously) Illness (contagious or prevents rowing) Injury (prevents rowing) Family emergency Significant personal obligations (school, family, community, medical, religious, etc.) - Fall (club season of mostly water practices, so attendance is more lenient than spring) - excuse standards can be expanded from those of spring by speaking to the coach - Winter (club season of mostly land workouts, so the above excuses apply to total workouts required for the erg pull only) – additional excuses follow as workouts/week excused work required on school/grades (1/week) after-school activities, including employment (2/week) lengthy illness or injury (1 week = 2/week, 2 weeks or more = 3/week) family or other obligations (1 week = 2/week, 2 weeks or more = 3/week) Fall Events Head races are fall events. Participation is set by several factors, the most important of which is practice time during the fall season. Because boats may require additional rowers, members of the team who do not have full fall participation may be allowed to race. On the other hand, some fall participants may not race if they are not ready to row in a competitive event. Readiness for racing, and how to set lineups is the sole prerogative of the coach. Winter Events Erg pulls are winter events. Participation is available to those who take part in the club’s winter training program. Because erg pulls are individual events, each student must fully meet the requirements to row. Full participation is not required under several circumstances: - Any student with a qualifying erg time (this season) may attend events out of town - Winter sport athletes must complete one 2K erg tests per month to participate in the Hampton Roads Erg Pull - Students missing portions of winter training for valid reasons may be excused from making up some workouts, and will be allowed to participate in the Hampton Roads Erg Pull Spring Water Practice Spring transition to the water hinges on athlete readiness. Spring racing is the conclusion of all the year’s work, but it is also our official varsity period. Therefore, it stands alone from fall and winter. We must acknowledge however, that success in the spring is highly dependant upon the preceding seasons. So what is the solution? Simple answer, there isn’t one. Let’s ask a different question instead. What is required for us to succeed? - Erging provides direct feedback to athletes on their individual performance. It comes in the form of ratings, splits, force curves, and repetition. This feedback, along with coaching supervision, helps athletes to build strength and endurance in motions that are unique to the rowing stroke. Erging is vital to rowing success. We must find time to erg. - Erg times are a vital tool in setting lineups. A coach must have sufficient data on each athlete to properly set crews. Good numbers don’t come from just one row. Four weeks is a good bench mark (form + 2k, endurance + 10k/8k, aerobic power + 6k/4k, and anaerobic power + 2k) - Strength training is essential to spring racing. Without strength, athletes cannot move the boat. Without sufficient speed, the boat will not set-up correctly and remain stable. Without a stable platform, none of us can learn to row well. - Based on the above assumptions, a minimum of four weeks erging at the beginning of the spring is required for each athlete to return to water training. The following exceptions will apply: The best time to erg is in the winter. It opens up the spring to refocus on technique. Thus, full winter participation waives the four week spring requirement. Partial winter participation waves a portion of the four weeks proportional to the amount of winter erging completed. Winter sport athletes should have the required strength to hit the water. So all we need is good erg data on them. Only two weeks of erging is required. For new members who have never been on the water, learning the stroke on the water must be accomplished before racing. Thus, only two weeks of erging is required. For new members joining in the third week of spring, or later, only one week of erging is required - Fall training is too far away from spring to have sufficient influence on an athlete’s strength or input to available erg data. Fall participation has no bearing on spring requirements. - Winter activities that do not have athletic benefits have no bearing on the minimum amount of erging required for success. They will not affect spring requirements. This policy of physical conditioning relies on the enthusiasm of the team, and our commitment to be our best. Understanding of the vital role that winter training plays, and recognition that every student depends on their teammates for success will make our full year of practice and competition a success on par with everything accomplished to this time. Note: Winter and spring exceptions (for erging) are not the same. Winter requirements focus on participation. Many factors in life can cause us to miss practice. Thus, more exceptions apply to the minimum necessary for the Hampton Roads Erg Pull. Spring requirements focus on strength and endurance. If you are not working out, then you are not preparing for racing. Only exceptions related to the athletic power of the student will apply to the spring erg training. Spring Events Sprint races are spring events. Spring racing is not a right, it is a privilege that must be earned. - Preparation for a race begins at least one week in advance. Thus, athletes must attend all practices during a week in order to participate in a spring race at the end of the week. Excused absences will be accepted, but the coach must be notified in writing prior to the absence if possible. This gives the coach an opportunity to decide if it is valid. It also allows the athlete to make a choice, if the absence will not be excused. - Athletes must be fully prepared to race. A minimum of three days rowing on the water is required in the week leading to a race. Excused absences will have no affect on this requirement. - The above requirements may be waived only in cases where athlete’s participation is deemed necessary by the coach to fill out boat lineups and maximize overall team participation in the races. Proper Attire Rowing is a sport for all year, done in many weather conditions. Students should dress for success. It is not acceptable to arrive at practice without the necessary clothing. - Erging / Running / Calisthenics – Land training requires clothes that can get dirty and proper shoes. We may stay on land any day. Bring your running shoes! - Shorts / Pants – Baggy clothing of any kind is not acceptable for use in shells. It will get caught in the tracks. Wear tight pants and short shirts/jackets. - Cold / Rain – We will row on cold, rainy, and even windy days if the water is good enough. Come prepared. Warm hats are the best way to stay warm. - Heat / Sun – We will row on hot, humid, sunny days. Light clothing with coverage against the sun is best. Practice Arrival Routine Students arrive at practice in a staggered progression as a result of the run from school to the boathouse. We have several things to complete on water practice days. Upon arrival, each student should begin to complete these tasks to ensure a rapid start to practice, and maximum time on the water. Individual Team - Place school bags in a safe location - Check the fuel in both launches - Push in stick on stick-board - Get launches in the water, on each dock - Dress properly for the row - Get three sets of 8 oars on the docks - Hydrate and use the restroom if needed - Get the red 8+ out on slings - Apply athletic tape / sunscreen as needed - Get out any other boats as directed - Notify the coach of any reason you - Stretching (everyone present) cannot row / work out - Check boat lineups - Notify the coach of any scheduling - Receive practice focus / workout plan conflict during practice We need to get all of this done quickly so that it doesn’t delay our departures. Do not be the one person we are all waiting on to leave the dock. And do not rely on everyone else to get the team actions done. Captains and coxswains will run this routine. Stretching will not start until all other responsibilities above have been completed. Once stretching is complete, all students must be ready to get in a boat and go! Race Routine Friday Practice will start 1 hour early. We will drill on the water for a short time, and return to the boathouse to load the trailer. We must work efficiently to get everything done. Saturday arrival time is set for a reason. Get there on time. The boats must be rigged for the day’s racing. Place your stuff at the team tent, and get to work at the trailer. Preparing for the day comes first. Check EVERYTHING! Racing requires lots of work. Boats have to be moved. Oars have to be taken to the dock. Shoes have to be gathered at launch, and passed out at the boat’s return. So…help out. De-rigging and storage of equipment will be done as we finish the last race with each shell. We share a trailer with Maury, and I refuse to have them waiting on us to go home. Meals will be eaten, and awards will be passed out after the trailer is done. Enjoy the celebration and share your stories with our supporters. The trailer is going back to be unloaded, so we have to be quick in our fun. Get to the boathouse soon, and help to finish the day well. Race Warm-up -2:30 – Wake up and STAY AWAKE. Eat a big breakfast to jump-start the metabolism. Carbs and protein with some simple sugars are best. -2:00 – Arrive at the team tent and stay off your feet. Get out of the sun and relax. Cold bodies are never ready to race, so stay warm. -1:30 – Perform initial warm-up with boat. This means 3min light running, 50m sprint, shake it out, 50m sprint, shake it out, and 2min light running. If you’ve raced already, skip this part. -1:20 – Stretch with boat. Complete the full stretching routine. If you’ve raced, keep this light. -1:10 – Use the restroom. Return to tent area and rest. Eat small amounts of simple sugars and hydrate if needed. Get in rowing clothes if not already. -0:40 – Report to the shell and check all your equipment. Ensure oars are in the dock area. -0:30 – Boat talk, hydrate, and get dressed to row. Pick up the boat and walk to docks. -0:20 – Launch from docks and perform water warm-up. This means exit the dock area, get to all 8/4 on the feather and row half way to start; stop in an area that won’t block other traffic; practice race starting-5 (¾, ½, ¾, full, full) and paddle out; practice full race start (¾, ½, ¾, full, full, high 15, settle 10) and paddle out; then do light rowing to remain warm. -0:05 – Arrive at start area. Move around and keep warm. Hydrate and keep the chatter down. -0:02 – Get in starting position. Rowers notify coxswain of any issues that prevent starting. Coxswain keeps boat lined up for start. Do not start if your crew has reason not to. Erg Test Warm-up Read the race warm-up above. It offers plenty of insight on how to succeed. Unlike races, this routine is not mandatory. Do what works best for you. -1:30 – Perform initial warm-up. This means 3min light running, 50m sprint, shake it out, 50m sprint, shake it out, and 2min light running. -1:20 – Complete the full stretching routine. Return to team area and rest. -0:20 – Perform erg warm-up. This means 1min easy, 30sec sprint at race pace, 1 min easy, 30sec race pace +2, and 1min easy. -0:05 – Arrive in erg area. -0:01 – Get a few more strokes in once seated on the erg. Don’t let your legs cool down. Equipment Care The equipment is expensive. As our team does not have infinite funding, what we do have needs to last a long time. Consider your team’s future, and keep racing equipment in racing order. No one moves boats better than Granby. Remember that, and do it right. The shells aren’t the only things that have to last, so care for everything, all the time. Cleaning is a must. It helps prevent both injuries and equipment damage, while reducing wear and tear. Small problems can very quickly grow to become big ones. Tell the coxswains and coaches about any discrepancy that you find. Look for it again later. If it has not been fixed, remind the coaches daily until the work is done. Help us all to remember, and care appropriately for our equipment. Music in the Boathouse Music is a good motivational tool during long winter months, and grueling meters on the erg. Unfortunately, most of today’s popular music contains a great deal of profanity, vulgarity, and violence. We want to avoid playing these songs. So we must be very careful about what we put on the house speakers. Anyone playing music must consider content first. Profanity is unacceptable, and a song’s popularity is no justification for playing questionable lyrics. Election of Captains Captain Term Limits A student can serve as a team captain during only one school year. New captains must be elected each fall season. The coach may choose to waive this limitation when a sufficient number of experienced students are not available to fill the positions, when a captain must be replaced, or when a captain’s service in the preceding year was less than one season. Primary Procedure The captain’s authority stems directly from the coach and is supported by the confidence placed in them by teammates. In the spirit of this role, four captains (two boys and two girls) will be designated at the beginning of the fall season as follows: - Three captains will be elected by all the vote-eligible students present on the day of election. Students will be eligible to vote if: o They plan to be a full participant in the coming spring season, AND o They have a sufficient history with the team as follows: They were a full participant in the preceding spring (six weeks attendance, Mar-Jun) season, OR They were a full participant in the preceding fall (eight weeks, Aug-Oct) and winter (ten weeks, Nov-Feb) seasons, OR They were a full participant in any combination of four total seasons Voting students will be polled to nominate candidates. A student need not be present to be nominated. Students can nominate themselves. Nominations can be declined. A student is eligible for nomination if they have never been a captain before AND: o They are a senior, AND are eligible to vote in the election, OR o They are a junior, AND plan to be a full participant in at least two seasons this school year, to include spring, AND have four full seasons with the team, OR o They are eligible to vote in the election, AND there are an insufficient number of seniors and juniors to nominate three boys and three girls. The coach will poll the nominated students on several factors that will affect the team (team attendance, team behavior, personal fall and winter plans, etc.). The purpose of the poll is to reveal how and when each candidate would lead the team. Candidates will not give speeches. It is the expectation that votes will be cast for candidates who earned team support through previous actions and through opinions given in the preceding coach’s poll. Students will cast secret ballots by writing the names of two boys and two girls on a piece of paper, which is then folded and turned into the coach. If five students of one gender are nominated, the first ballot will eliminate two candidates in that gender, leaving three in a run-off. If six or more are nominated, the first ballot will eliminate candidates sufficient to leave four in a run-off. The elected captains are the three students (at least one boy and girl) receiving the most votes. - Following elections, one additional captain will be chosen by the head coach. Captains will be announced to the entire team within one week. It will not be revealed which captains received their position by election or appointment. Alternate Procedure If the team is small, or insufficient experience exists among the varsity students, the coach may choose to employ this alternate method to designate captains. Authority to use this method rests solely with the coach. - Two captains (one boy and one girl) will be elected at the beginning of the fall season in a manner similar to the standard election, except that: The coach may expand voting eligibility to any student with previous team history The coach may expand eligibility for nomination to any student with previous team history and plans to compete in both the fall and spring seasons. - If team numbers require, two additional captains (one boy and one girl) will be designated by the coach at the beginning of the spring season. Suspension or Dismissal of a Captain Authority to suspend or dismiss a captain lies solely with the head coach. No approval is needed for the head coach to exercise this power. Written explanation must be submitted to the GHSCTBC Board within one week of the action. - For dismissal, written or verbal explanation of the action will be given to the affected captain within one week. - For suspension, written or verbal explanation of the action will be given to the affected captain within one week. This explanation will include the duration of suspension. If lifting of the suspension is contingent upon completion of corrective actions, this list will be given to the student in writing. Seating of boats explained (this is not a rule, only a discussion) Seating of boats is the prerogative of the head coach. I will likely answer cordial questions on the subject, but I owe no one an explanation as to how it is done. To keep the number of questions to a minimum, I offer some insight to help everyone understand my choices. Speed in rowing consists of many elements, but here are the primary ones for me: - Power consists of the strength to pull an oar, and the endurance to sustain that strength over the length of a race. There are many judges of power, but the best is the erg. We complete many test pieces to assess the power of each athlete. There are 10Ks, 6Ks, 4Ks, and 2Ks. In the spring, 2Ks prevail. I am all about the numbers, so this will be my primary decision tool. Differences in erg scores greater than 10 seconds are hard to rationalize away. - Technique is the ability to properly apply one’s power on the water. There is too much material to address here, so I will simply say that bad technique hurts the rower and everyone else in the boat. I know it when I see it, and will adjust seating accordingly. - Contribution to a boat is also important. A boat that rows well as a unit will often go faster than that same crew with even one new rower who throws off the rhythm. Changes in lineups become less likely as big events approach and a crew has less time to work into a good rhythm. My choices will be based on boat speed alone. I will determine which rowers and coxswains make boats faster, and place them there. A good tool for measuring speed is seat-racing, but it takes time and will be done rarely, if ever. All students must give 100% in seat races to ensure accuracy. If I determine that a rower or coxswain has done otherwise, I will take them out of the boat. I was not a fast rower at Navy. I spent many days on the erg when I wasn’t fast enough for the shells. I missed lots of races when teams did not have 3Vs or 4Vs to race my 8+. I only attended championships once (senior year in the 3V). And I loved it. Thus, I expect all students to be excited about rowing for Granby, no matter which boat they race in and when.