Heading South

Jan. 12, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Snowbirds and vacationers won’t be the only ones heading south to escape the cold this winter. Thirty-nine members of the University of Iowa rowing program will depart today for the team’s first warm weather training trip of the 2014 preseason.

The Hawkeyes will check in at the Hontoon Landing Resort and Marina, located near DeLand, Fla., on Jan. 12 and stay to train in the Sunshine State until Jan. 20. The waterfront resort is located along the St. John’s River, which empties into Lake Beresford, the nearby home of the Stetson rowing program.

Collegiate teams of all levels — Division I, Division II, or Division II — located in cold areas make these training trips to work out at universities in warmer climates. UI head rowing coach Andrew Carter says it is critical for teams to make these types of trips.

“It is an important trip,” Carter said. “Not only will we be able to get strokes in, but we’ll also be sequestered as a group, so there is a lot of team bonding and team experiences that will go on there. The student-athletes also don’t have to worry about other things that occupy their time on the trip like their studies and other social things on campus. We can do things that we normally don’t have time for.

“We’ll come together to do some goal setting so we all have the same understanding going forward. The student-athletes need to be involved in that, it can’t be something that I dictate. Without their involvement goals don’t have any value or any weight. We’ll have time between our on-water sessions to gain a deeper understanding of what it is that they’re doing and why they’re doing it.”

The Hawkeyes will hold three practices per day– two to two-and-a-half hours in length — during the training trip, which is normal in the sport of rowing. All in all, Iowa will spend six or more hours each day training on the water.

In between its workouts, the coaching staff will address boat issues, cover strategies and techniques, review film, and bond as a team.

“Each workout will have an individual purpose and desired outcome,” Carter said. “Fitness is always a part of each workout. We’ll have more technical practices, high intensity workouts, and some strategic and tactical focused workouts as well.

“The things we do on this trip will help guide us to where we need to go. We won’t set lineups yet because it is an ongoing process, but it will give us an idea where people will begin the semester. It is almost like a pre-seeding for more detailed stuff down the road. It is important the team spends this time together to get a common understanding of their training, technique, racing strategies, and goals.”

It is Carter’s first training trip at the helm of the Hawkeye program, and he is looking forward to developing this group in a focused rowing environment.

“I enjoy being alone with the team and being focused on rowing,” Carter said. “When we’re in a normal week here in Iowa City, there is so much more that goes into the planning of everything. A lot of that comes from the stresses and the pressures that the student-athletes have on a daily basis, whether it is academic, social, family or team stuff.

“We don’t have to balance as much at these camps. I’m looking forward to being in an environment where everyone is focused on and excited about rowing, and that is it.”