Spring 2021 Training started primarily in 1X, however we have transitioned into crew boats all the while keeping in line with TCU & US Rowing COVID guidelines. We hope to be able to Race in the Fall as the COVID situation improves.
SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY.
Following these safety guideline will help ensure for a safe operation. As always make sure to also follow COVID protocols.
1- Weather: always check the forecast. Even though it may look “nice” storms can pop up quickly. Please read the “What If” Weather Scenario at the bottom of this page as a guild to help select the correct location and type of practice. There are many great weather App that you can take conditions. Weather Channel App: Has forecast winds, as well as a forecast radar tracker. Following a heavy rainfall, the Beach St. water level can raise a fair amount. If water is either over the ramp or dam do not row. Here is the water data for Beach St. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?08048543
2- Winds: High winds can produce waves and make docking difficult, especially in 1X. Beach St. is more protected the Marine Creek Lake. Wind direction is also an important factor. Coaches will make the call if it’s safe to row and specifically where rowing will take place. Wind parameter: MCL: Maximum Winds are 15mph. Beach St.: Maximum Winds are 20mph. The wind values include the gust factor. These winds are for crew boats. 1X winds should be reduced by 5mph and even more depending on experience of rower.
3- Safety Officer, must be present at every practice. When out on the water alway use the buddy system and never, row off on your own. “Basic “Learn to Row” training must be focused on Safety first and always knowing what to do in case of an incident. Coach boat has required life jackets and the first aid kit is fully stocked and in its designated location. Coach or coxswain should have a cell phone and know exact address if 911 emergency services are required.
4- Ditching and Life Jackets: All rowers who have not done Flip Training and are not yet 1X Certified shall wear a life jacket when rowing a single. Ditching Training. The first water practice will include what to do in the unlikely even a crew boat flips (ditches). Rowers must always stay with the rowing shell which are designed to float and act as a life preserver.
5- Number/type of Coaches required at water practices. An “Advanced Coach” (described below) is required to be in attendance at all water practices. The number of qualified coaches required at each water practice is determined by the number/type of boats. Coach Ratio: need to have a “boat/crew Coach” for each large boat (4+, 8+) or for two smaller boats (2X, 1X). The “Buddy System” is also mandatory especially in 1Xs. All boats should stay in close proximity of at least, one other rowing crew or the Coach boat (with an Advanced Coach). An exception is when being coached from the dock and rower stays a safe distance from the dock. It is best when you have an inexperienced crew to not go past the Riverside Bridge at Beach St or out of the view of the dock at Marine Creek Lake. Using the “west bay” (just north of the Ski Club Bay) of MCL, is a good place to shelter from winds, during practice.)
6- No Rowing 1X in the dark. Must be off the water 15 minutes after official sunset. If there is any probability a crew boat will row in the dark, all boats will have the required boat lighting, coach boat will be utilized, crew/cox will be experienced and an “advanced coach” will be running the practice.
7- Traffic Pattern and lookout. At Beach St keep your starboard side (green) closest to shore. Always take a look behind you before you start rowing and every 5 or 6 strokes, especially at Marines Creek Lake with so many fishing boats. Coxswains need to be mindful of watching for Swimmers along the east shore of MCL, especially on Saturday mornings.
8. Scheduling Water Practices: Each water practice must have the appropriate level of coaches as well as an adequate level of crew experience for the specific rowing location/boat. The Head Coach will coordinate with the Rowing Coordinator, to ensure that each water practice has the appropriate level of safety. As the Head Coach becomes more experienced, they will schedule water practices themselves, keeping student safety as the top priority. Here are some of the key points to creating a successful weekly water practice schedule.
- Deconflict TCU water practices with any FWRC & TRWD events.
- Ensure the adequate Level of coaches (TCU & FWRC) are available for the crews rowing.
- Create a weekly master practice spread sheet (Water/ERG). Ensure that all water practices are placed on the appropriate “Group Me” location (Beach St or MCL) well in advance of the practice. This will give awareness to other crews that you will be out on the water. Group Me will also give an “automatic notification” of any changes to practice time/location, adding another layer of over awareness/safety.
TCU Coaching Structure:
TCU utilizes the experience of the Fort Worth Rowing Club (FWRC) Coaches, who have decades of coaching experience. All water operations and coaching training is overseen by the “TCU Rowing Coordinator” (Pete McIntosh) a FWRC Coach. TCU students are selected to become “Student Coaches” based on both their technical rowing knowledge/skills, as well as their maturity and sound decision making skills.
Ideally there will be a TCU Student with the required level of experience to hold the title of “TCU Head Rowing Coach”. (Currently Samuel Barnes). As Head Coach that student will schedule (both crews/coaches) and ensure practices are run with safety as a top priority. In the event that there is not a student “qualified” to hold the “TCU Head Rowing Coach” position, the Rowing Coordinator will work closely with the potential “Head Coach” with focus on any safety concerns, until such time a student is fully ready.
There are three levels of student coaches.
1: Basic “LTR” Coach: Certified to teach “Learn to Row”, with focus on proper technique and posture, to help rowers avoid any injury. Qualified to lead ERG practices and dock rowing in addition to some on water coaching, under the supervision of an “Advanced Coach”. To become a Basic Coach the student will need to complete the TCU Basic Coaches Course. Those students wanting to advance to the next coaching level as a “Boat/Crew Coach”, will be required to do additional on water mentoring with an Advance Coach. The Head Coach/Rowing Coordinator will certify those who qualify to become a “Boat/Crew” Coach to run on water practices with one specific crew.
2: Boat/Crew Coach: While still under the supervision of an “Advanced Coach”, the Boat/Crew Coach will be qualified to run the practice for a specific crew. They will be responsible for crew coordination/communication for practice, as well as responsible for crews safety and equipment care, both on and off water. They will also keep track of crews training progress and report it to the Head Coach). Students with a few semesters of rowing experience and a solid coaching foundation as a Boat/Crew Coach, can be recommended to take part in the “Advanced Coach” mentoring program. During this program the Coach will be responsible for all aspect of the entire water practice (all boats), while still under the supervision of a qualified Advance Coach. The Head Coach/Rowing Coordinator will certify those who qualify to become an Advanced Coach.
3: Advanced “Water Practice” Coach: A fully qualified “Advanced Coach” can take out a Crew/Boat on their own and be responsible for all aspects of the water practice. Initially they will be assigned to a crew with an experienced Coxswain and Crew. As they gain experience they will be able to work with more Novice Crews. As an Advanced Coach, you are responsible for all aspects of the practice. You must ensure that all the safety requirements listed above be strictly abided by.
As a Coach, no matter your coaching level, the safety of your rowers always overrides all other factors.
“THE TEAM” page has the current list of TCU Coaches and their specific Coaching Level.
US Rowing Certification: all coaches are encouraged to do the US Rowing Level 1 Course. It is highly recommended that all Advanced Coaches obtain the US Rowing Level 2. Certificate.
Level 1: US Rowing Coaches Course: https://usrowing.org/sports/2020/11/9/level-1-course-description.aspx?id=1119
Additional Training Information.
Training Videos: https://www.fortworthrowing.org/training.html. (Use door Door Code)
Decent Rowing Log in: https://www.decentrowing.com
“What If” Weather Scenario:
Plan for “WHAT IF” contingencies and have an adaptation plan for you practice. Below is a typical plan for a practice, with examples of “adverse situations” that you may encounter. We laid out how to adapt your practice plan and still make the most it. Keeping the crews positive and motivated during these adverse situations is a key factor for your
Which Location: MCL or Beach St.?
– 8+ are only located at MCL (also currently at MCL is 4+, 4X, 1X), so you decide to row at MCL it make use of the 8+ and you have an experienced Cox with this novice crew. You have a great crew lineup, a list of exercises that you have already briefed the Cox on, and you will be coaching from the coach boat.
Check the weather?
– That morning you look at the weather and notice that the winds for the evening practice will be above 15MPH.
– So you correctly decide to move practice to Beach St. which is much more protected from the winds. You give everyone lots of notice about the change of plans and that they have rides. (Attention to detail is key).
– You arrive at Beach St with a new plan to use two 4+, with you now Coxing the second 4+ boat. You check the weather and the radar now shows that Thunderstorms (with lightning) are forming to the southwest and moving toward Fort Worth.
– You consider waiting out the storm, as it will pass fairly quickly, however you will run out of daylight, which rowing with this novice crew is not an option.
You correctly decide to move to an ERG Workout in shifts. You still get in a great workout and kept safety as a top priority!!!
Chances are that most days will go as plan. However, as an Advanced “Water Practice” Coach it’s your responsibility to make the safest choice. I encourage you all to attend as many practices as you can, ask lots of “what if” questions and become comfortable with making these important practice decisions.