Our Priorities

Our priorities ensure we always pursue our mission, and make it possible to achieve our goals.  We talk about these priorities all the time.

1.  Safety

  • Bodily injury – We don’t want anyone getting hurt, whether through unforeseen circumstances, or through avoidable situations.
  • Long-term health – Strength today must not come at the cost of health tomorrow.  We cross-train.  We emphasize the importance of recovery.  We focus on correct movement patterns.  We try to be complete athletes.
  • Equipment damage – We want to have nice things.  We won’t if we break it.
  • Preparedness – We do our best to have the right materials, procedures, and skills ready should something go wrong.

2.  Safesport

  • Kindness – People care what you know, when they know that you care.  We are a team.  We build each other up, we don’t tear each other down.
  • Accountability – Actions speak volumes.  We earn respect, and we give it.  We are honest.  The team depends on each of us to do our job; we act accordingly.
  • Understanding – All people are complex.  To see ‘the other’ as simple is hubris.  Remembering that complexity gives us patience for ourselves and others.
  • Fairness – Opportunities are available to all.  Anyone doing the work will have a shot.  Numbers are hard to argue; erg times and boat speeds enable meritocracy.
  • Perception – We go beyond the letter of the law.  Even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable.  We report problems, trusting them to be handled correctly.

3.  Teaching and Learning

  • Students first, athletes second – The body follows the brain.
  • Teachers first, coaches second – It doesn’t matter what the coaches say, it matters what the athletes hear.  We don’t make them train, we help them improve.
  • Begin with why – Everything can be done better if the reasons for doing it are understood.  Motivation starts in the mind.  Picture the path, then walk it.
  • The learning environment – We are a team.  We learn together.  We ask questions and give answers with the goal of everyone benefitting.

4.  Equipment

  • Proper care – The equipment is expensive.  We need it to last.  And the better shape it’s in, the faster we are on the water.  This takes meticulous, consistent, informed effort.  All of know it matters.  All of us do our part.
  • Correct setup – Riding a bike that doesn’t fit your physical dimensions or your riding style is dumb.  You’ll go slower, enjoy it less, and possibly get hurt.  The same is true for rowing.  Every time we use equipment (shells, oars, ergs, weights, running shoes, etc.) we want to be sure they fit right and work correctly.

5.  Everything Else

  • This may be the bottom of the list, but all of it is still important.
  • Punctuality – Your time is important.  We don’t want to waste it.  We rely on you to be there when we need you.  We strive to end practice as scheduled.
  • Physicality – We want to be athletes..  We will doggedly pursue fitness.
  • Technique – We are serious about our craft.  We will perfect it.
  • Race results – Results matter, because they reflect what we did to earn them.

The team priorities are all interrelated.  Coaches who earn respect are better instructors.  Better instruction ensures student handle their own equipment.  Correct equipment setup keeps students safe.  Safe students learn better.  Smarter athletes race faster. 

Note 1:  These priorities are obviously not meant to replace larger student priorities like school, family, work, etc.  We agree crew should be lower down on each student’s overall priority list.

Note 2:  the students insist that priority 5 is Fun.  I (Coach Paul) am resistant.