Becoming a coach
I am currently an assistant coach for Michigan State University's Women's Rowing Team. I assist mainly with the Novice Program. I got into coaching because I was a rower myself at the University of Vermont. Both experiences have been monumentally important in my development as a coach. The team at UVM gave me the "club team" experience that helped me value the small things. We had a sense of responsibility, motivation, and camaraderie that is difficult to find in a fully funded program. Why, you might ask? Well, simply put, we literally had to work for what we had. Whether it be putting in countless hours for fundraising programs like Rent-A-Rower, or literally paying out of pocket, the team and our success made all of the time and money spent worth it.
As if by an odd sense of fate, I ended up working with the rowing program at Michigan State. Why the mention of "fate?" Upon walking into the indoor training room my first day coaching, I saw a familiar sight: a Swingulator, a machine that my coach at UVM invented (only this version was much newer and much nicer than the prototype I learned to row on). It seems that I was destined to continue the work I had started in my undergraduate years. Needless to say, MSU has also been an amazing experience. Not being a rower with the team, I have been able to gain a new perspective on the sport. I still have that "club team spirit," but now I am in a program that has the money to support its athletes. As such, the training is more intense, the erg times are faster, and the victories are against more competitive teams. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with such great athletes and a great coaching staff.