International Coaches Seminar in Sarasota – A Great Event!
By Dan Brauchli • October 17, 2017
Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. –
“Great event, I loved it!”
“Thanks again for organizing the conference. I mean those were 7 awesome coaches to listen to, and I took something away from each one.”
This was just some of the feedback on the International Coaches Seminar that followed the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Just one day after the week-long regatta approximately 80 American youth and collegiate coaches extended their stay an extra day in Sarasota-Bradenton to participate in an opportunity to attend this first-ever event. With seven of the top international coaches in the world, the seminar was conducted in a Q and A format. Each of the following coaches would spend 60 minutes presenting on different aspects of their coaching tactics and then answer questions from the attendees:
- Roger Barrow, Head Coach of South African team
- Uwe Bender, Coach of the German M8+
- Noel Donaldson, Head Coach of New Zealand team
- Rene Mijnder, Coach of the Dutch men’s team
- Paul Thompson, Head Coach of Great Britain women’s team
- Josy Verdonkschot, Head Coach of the Dutch women’s team
- Ian Wright, Head Coach of Australian Men’s team
Moderating the event were Chris Kerber, head coach of Cornell men’s lightweight rowing; Kris Korzeniowski, USRowing’s Director of Coaching Education, Dave O’Neil, head coach at the University of Texas; and Andy Teitelbaum, head coach of the Ohio State women’s rowing team.
The conference and format proved to be successful not only for those attending but also for the presenting coaches. With this world championship following an Olympic year, all coaches were relatively candid about how they train, how they teach and how they are organized.
“We don’t compete against each other…our athletes do that. I think we all know and respect each other,” offered Dutch women’s coach, Josy Verdonkschot. “None of us are afraid of sharing our thoughts and strategies because it’s much more than the words or the program, it’s the total system. Every coach lives in a different system.”
“We all have the same goals, making people excel to the best of their abilities. If we can lend a perspective to some of the United States university coaches, why not? It is in the best interest to grow the sport.”
Wes Ng, University of Pennsylvania women’s coach, U23 national team coach and attendee, further remarked, “It was really inspiring to see coaches at the top of their games sharing, teaching, and discussing their approaches with a wide array of US-based coaches. It’s important for all of us who care about the development of our sport to listen and share. Korzo put everyone at ease and allowed that to happen. I loved hearing about the choices each coach makes to overcome the particular challenges their training environments create.”