Rowers Complete Winter Training in Florida

Jan. 22, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 13th-straight year, the Kansas rowing team spent part of their winter break on a trip to a warmer climate for some extra training on the water. This year marked the first time that the squad trained in Tampa, Fla. The previous 12 winter training trips were to Austin, Texas. Fifty-two members of the squad went on the 10-day trip which included 18 practices on the water.

Prior to the trip, KU rowers had spent six weeks off the water. In the final team meeting before the break, team leaders addressed the squad and stressed the importance of staying in shape in advance of the training trip.

“It was important that everyone workout at the start of the break so that when we went on the trip we could focus on technical parts of rowing and not fitness,” said senior Olivia Kinet. “We told the team that if they were not doing the work in their free time they were falling behind the rest of the teams in the country.”

Head coach Rob Catloth had an early indication that the team was in shape and ready to work.

“We had them come back a day before the trip and we tested them on the rowing machine,” said Catloth. “We had six or seven athletes set personal records during that test, so that was encouraging. We knew we could work on technique instead of working them hard on their fitness.”

The team arrived in Tampa on the evening of January 10 and had its first practice the next morning. Each day the squad practiced at 8:30 in the morning and then again at 2:00 in the afternoon. The team arrived back in Lawrence on Sunday.

“Starting with the first practice we worked on keeping our shoulders in the bow and keeping our bodies in the bow,” Kinet said. “We improved our performance every day by keeping this focus. Because we all came to the training in shape we were able to put in more miles and we were able to get more out of our time.”

Catloth also pointed out that much of the training was spent teaching the rowers to be coaches on the water. “As our team is maturing, we are getting athletes that can work on the little things that make a difference,” says Catloth. “There are no timeouts in rowing so part of this is teaching them how to fix things on their own in the heat of battle. I’m also seeing improved depth. Many of our sophomores and juniors are making big strides in their improvement.”

The rowing team will again be off the water for a few weeks waiting for the weather to allow practice on the water. The first competition of the spring season is the Oklahoma Invite March 8-10. Kinet, an All-Conference USA selection last year, is excited about where the team is right now.

“This is the most confident we have been heading into the season. This is the best I have ever seen us perform. Our attitude is right and we are in a position to accomplish our goals in the spring,” said Kinet.

During the spring season, KU will row in eight competitions culminating with the Conference USA Championships on May 18. KU hosts the Big 12 Championships at Wyandotte County Lake on May 4. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.