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Team. Coach.

When I showed up for rowing on Tuesday morning, the head coach wasn't there. But he did show up this morning, and right off the bat asked me what my rowing goals were. He's of some sort of Eastern European heritage, with a strong accent and refreshing directness. Then he put me into a different quad and we had a nice (for me) row. I'm on the young end of the spectrum for the master's women in this program, but to judge by how today's quad felt, age is no barrier to good rowing. I'm still out of rowing shape and wiggly, but the only way to fix that is to keep showing up regularly to practice, so I told Y that my biggest goal is to make sure I go to practice regularly. I also said I'd be interested in doing "some" racing this fall.

(Then at some point in the middle of practice he made an offhand remark about the masters rowers deciding to not practice on Wednesday mornings and how that was a bad idea, so I suspect he's keen on regular practice, and for good reason)

So, I think I will like this team and the overall team and coaching dynamic. Y says he is happy and able to train people across all skill levels, from novices to national-team hopefuls, and from what I've seen so far I believe him. The group of masters rowers in the morning is a mixture that includes some second-year rowers (i.e. a year out of novice rowing) but also a number of people in fairly fast singles. Tuesday's quad was with the novices, but this morning's quad was with a group of better rowers and felt like it was right at the correct skill level for me; I'm not way out of my league like I was when rowing with the Serious Double, but this group will push me to improve. And having a coach means that I have the luxury of showing up to practice and being told what to do. It has been a LONG time since I've had that. That takes a lot of the strain off of me.

Another sign of a good coach: at the end of practice, Y pulled a few of us aside individually to give us some specific remarks on aspects of our form that we need to work on. My homework: stop overextending my upper body at the catch, and work on keeping my blades square as they come out of the water at the release. Yes, coach.

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