UCLA Summer Camp Weekly Feature

May 28, 2009

The UCLA Bruin rowing camps offer a great opportunity for experienced high school rowers to improve their skills and for new rowers to get introduced to the sport. The summer camps are run and coached by the very accomplished UCLA Women's Rowing Team coaching staff. Head Coach Amy Fuller Kearney is a three-time Olympian and won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games. Assistant Coach Bill Zack has coached the U.S. National Team at both the senior and junior world championships. The coaching staff will be assisted by camp counselors who are members of the UCLA Women's Rowing Team. Most of the counselors also rowed in high school, and they are invaluable resources for the campers who want to know what it takes to make the transition to rowing at the Division I level.

The overnight camp is primarily designed for current high school rowers (female only) who are looking to improve their rowing technique and knowledge of how to train for their sport. The on-the-water sessions have a great technical focus and feature a wide variety of drills and lots of feedback. The lessons learned in the boats are reinforced through video review sessions. The campers will also get instruction on rowing ergometers and learn about proper training intensities. The camp traditionally ends with some fun intrasquad racing. There are also sessions in which the campers learn about NCAA recruiting rules, hear from the counselors what life is like as a collegiate student-athlete, and can ask any questions that they might have about any aspect of the sport.

According to Coach Kearney, 'It's almost universal that the folks who attend our overnight camp learn a great deal about the sport in a short period of time. We attribute that to fact that the rowers, and coxswains, can try different things without having to worry about boat selection for the next weekend's race lineups. It's a fun learning environment.'

The day camp, open to both boys and girls, is more structured toward the beginner rower. Every college rowing program still relies on novice rowers, and rowing is probably the only college sport where somebody can learn the sport in college and still have a productive playing career. In fact, about half of the U. S. National Team first started rowing in college. So for those people who want to get exposed to the sport and see if it is something that they want to pursue, the UCLA summer rowing camp is an ideal introduction. We're even starting to see a handful of the beginning rowers go on to join one of the organized high school level programs in the area. Others might continue with the sport at a recreational level or through exercising on an indoor rowing machine (ergometer), which is increasingly popular at health clubs throughout the country. And even if a camper decides not to continue on in the sport, it's hard to beat four days of rowing in the awesome Los Angeles weather in beautiful Marina Del Rey.

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