Let’s take a trip this #saturdaystaffspotlight behind the scenes of one of our main staples at the Center - sculling camps. Sculling Director Troy Howell first joined us as a seasonal coach in 2005. Since 2009, he has been one of the key faces here, having been hired to be the camps’ Fleet Manager when Pepa became the @greenracingproject head ski coach. After five years, Troy assumed the role of Sculling Director after Norm Graf’s retirement. Troy learned to row at UVA in 1987 and hasn’t left the boathouse since, coaching first at Rivanna Rowing Club, Wichita State, and the Duluth Rowing Club, followed by 15 years as head coach of both boys and girls crews at the Episcopal School of Dallas – a sculling-only team to this day. These days, if he is not actively coaching a camp, Troy can be found behind the scenes of every other one putting in endless hours to make sure that everything needed for our scullers’ enjoyment and education of the sport is in running smoothly. Any time that someone has a compliment or a concern, you can be sure that Troy takes it seriously and future camps will reflect guest feedback! His stated goal is that “everyone who launches from our docks receives the best coaching that they are ready to hear, wherever they are in their sculling development from first-day beginner to current National Team member.” An ardent proponent of the idea that if you learn to move a single well, you’ll be able to move any other boat more effectively, Troy loves drawing analogies for how to approach the stroke from other sports and disciplines – especially Nordic skiing, swimming, and golf. Though he describes himself as “ferociously introverted”, you’ll never believe that if you get him going on the topic of sculling. Over the past few years, Troy has become intrigued with how best to train the nervous system for sculling, using his Comfort in the Boat sessions both within the camps and using GRP rowers as guinea pigs. He has also been thinking and writing voraciously on the subject (check out his blog “Sculling and Stuff Like It.”) Thanks for helping the camps be such a roaring success every summer, Troy. We know our returning campers would agree as well!
As this week’s sculling camp wraps up, we’d like to start a new series of posts we’ll be running over the summer highlighting the amazing coaches that teach the beautiful sport of rowing on Great Hosmer Pond. This week we’ve got Austin Meyer who has been back and forth to the Center for years. Back in 2006 Austin showed up for a sculling camp and within a week, doubled his exposure to sculling. He proceeded to intern here under the auspices of Pepa when she worked as Fleet Manager. Austin grew his rowing resume over the years by racing on multiple U23 and Senior National Teams. He’s with us this week before starting a job in NYC in Artificial Intelligence. He needed a week where he could toss his phone in his dresser, eat amazing food, and jump back into the single for the first time in a year and a half. He loves coaching everyone from juniors up to masters here and coming up here because “everyone is happy at the sculling camps.” Have fun in New York, Austin!