Be the Hunter.
Favorite RSR Lesson: Performance DOES NOT EQUAL Performer. Your erg time, squat number, SAT score, college admissions letter - these do not equal your value. You are deserving of love and joy just because. You do not have to PR to be "enough." You do not have to attend your top choice college to be happy.
Favorite Song to Erg to: Three 6 Mafia feat Tiesto "Feel It"
Favorite Happy Song: Todd Rundgren "Bang the Drum All Day"
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: Maximum Perceived Exertion DOES NOT EQUAL Maximum Exertion and it never will. Once you understand that the goals of training are to 1) push out the limits or extend your fitness so that your maximum exertion level is farther out on the scale and 2) push out your mental limit of your maximum perceived exertion level then you will see that it's all about your perception of the physiological sensations. Those sensations feel different if you are on target or off. They feel different if you are mentally tired or not. Once an athlete understands all of this - you start to see the door open where they are willing to take more risks and see the numbers as facts rather than emotional interpretations of their value. I still need to remind myself of this.
What Makes RSR Different? RSR focuses on building the internal capacity and "youth development" of our rowers. We use rowing as the medium by which we can teach these important and critical life skills. Yes, we want boats to go fast but we want them to go fast beause there is an army of amazing young women who can do hard things - pushing themselves and each other to go that fast.
Favorite RSR Lesson: I love to educate the athlete about different “mental roads” they have the opportunity to use when working with habits. I love the fact RSR informs the athlete the “old road (habit)” will still be present in your mind, you can see it but that doesn’t mean you need to take that road. The athlete can start to create a “new road (habit)” that helps support them towards their goals. Oh lordy, I love working with the athletes through this transition of how to build new roads/habits and giving them the tools to know they can control their thoughts. It gets me pumped up thinking about it!
Favorite Song to Erg to: Salt-N-Pepa "Push It"
Favorite Happy Song: Spice Girls "Who Do You Think You Are"
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: One of my favorite improvements for myself since working with RSR is the acknowledgement that I can be BRAVE but still acknowledge I have the emotion of “fear” in a situation. This thought has made me more empowered with my actions to do things that make me feel extremely uncomfortable. For example, last night instead of killing a spider I found in my kitchen with a shoe, I challenged myself to take it outside and let it live. I mean I frantically ran with it outside verbally saying to myself “I’M BRAVE! I’M BRAVE”. While my husband was probably thinking where’s the fire? I like how this improvement of mindset has helped me with small and large tasks that “life” brings.
What Makes RSR Different? When I look back on the person I was when I started rowing at 14yrs old compared to the person I am now 20yrs + years later, I am extremely proud of the qualities the sport of rowing has challenged me with to help me evolve into a humble, confident, self-compassionate, challenge seeking woman. What took me decades to learn for myself in my rowing career, RSR is teaching athletes at the beginning. I can’t imagine the even “stronger force” I would have been if I had the mindset I do now when I was at the beginning of my competitive rowing career at 14yrs old. The mindset to: except challenge, have self-compassion, be confident in my ability, to always keep learning and not succumbing to the thought of failure; took me 20+yrs of me figuring out. It is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING RSR puts a concentration on all of this in their training so athletes can be coached at this level while they are still young and growing.
Favorite RSR Lesson: When a group of kids from across the country put their minds and bodies to it, they can, in only three weeks, grow into an impressive group of badass monster racers that bring the fiercest out in each other.
Favorite Song to Erg to: Yeah... someone else has to choose the playlist. I need to focus.
Favorite Happy Song: Ella Fitzgerald “Blue Skies”
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: Working with a group of badass monster women who bring the fiercest out in each other is in my top three favorite things to do on this planet. That, and when Holly says "day off" she doesn't mean "day without work." She means something else.
What Makes RSR Different? Holly. Holly models "all out" for the athletes and coaches. She goes way beyond what I've ever seen a racing camp director do in the 20 years I've been involved in rowing. She pours all her own rowing experience and everything she's learned subsequently into the program and makes space for other coaches and guests to do the same. Holly gets to know athletes and their families well before the camp starts and stays in touch afterwards. She is relentless in her belief that we all have more to give and acts accordingly, giving each athlete a lot of individual attention and feedback to help them find that "more." And she laughs a lot. Camp is fun. Going hard is fun. RSR Elites is fun because Holly cares so much about us and leads us with aggression and joy. Then we all get to celebrate our improvement together.
Favorite RSR Lesson: A plant can only grow from the darkness of the soil. You have to go through the darkness in order to grow.
Favorite Song to Erg to: Mulan “I’ll make a man out of you”
Favorite Happy Song: Walk Off the Earth “Anthem”
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: One of the things that has stuck with me from RSR is having a brave mantra. Something to tell yourself to keep you going, even when the workout is hard or the challenge seems super daunting. I find myself using it often, whether it be having a difficult conversation with someone or when I am struggling on a run.
What Makes RSR Different? RSR is different because we focus more on helping people succeed in their own personal goals as well as their athletic goals. The coaching is meant to help them as an entire person, rather than just an athlete. It teaches the lessons I wish I had known before I was a college athlete, instead of just figuring them out on my own.
Favorite RSR Lesson: There are several factors in boatspeed. Therefore, having the fastest rowers in a boat doesn't always generate the fastest boat. You learn what else drives boatspeed (and erg speed) at RSR. Then you practice it. And at Youth Nationals, you demonstrate it.
Favorite Song to Erg to: grandson "Blood // Water"
Favorite Happy Song: Macklemore "Thrift Shop"
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: RSR has helped me define results and performance differently. Whereas I did not think this way as a competitor 20+ years ago, I now believe that you can't define or judge yourself (or others) by wins and losses, as those are not within your control. Instead, all that matters is what you do -- how you perform, act, race, react, challenge, and fight. These things, you can control. But this control is easier said than done, as it gets much harder to control what you do in the moments that matter most, when you are red-lining the frontier of your human potential. RSR will change your definition of "result" and prepare you for these intense moments that matter.
What Makes RSR Different? RSR evaluates its own performance using many different metrics and is focused on far more than simply how RSR boats place at a summer regatta. Athletes will experience and feel this difference in RSR's focus, and recognize it in their personal growth and who they have become by the end of the 4 weeks.
RSR consciously and explicitly builds confidence and capabilities within athletes to handle challenges with bravery, positivity, and resiliency. RSR equips athletes with tools and methods to deploy in an array of difficult life situations, far beyond the narrow application within competitive rowing.
RSR coaches are more than just coaches; they are master teachers who articulately and compellingly teach and demonstrate from deep personal experience. RSR coaches understand what is required to truly learn and grow, and know how to recognize both (a) when this is occurring in RSR athletes and (b) when this is not occurring, why it is not.
RSR is not just a team — it’s a community. Teams disband when competition is complete; communities do not. The unique RSR bond is the underlying force driving the continuity and durability of the RSR community. You can row for many different teams over the summer, or you can join RSR.
Favorite RSR Lesson: The brain is also a muscle and it can be trained. Training our brains in conjunction with our bodies helps us do hard things.
Favorite Song to Erg To: Survivor "Eye of the Tiger"
Favorite Happy Song: Pharrell Williams "Happy"
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: Food Macronutrients! Salad is a carb, peanut butter is a fat, and cheese counts as a protein! Also, I always eat healthier when I'm near Coach Holly, even virtually.
What Makes RSR Different: RSR combines physiology and mental training. The result is fast athletes who also have a fast mindset, a healthy mental relationship to their training, and the ability to overcome hard things (rowing related or not).
Favorite RSR Lesson: I love the RSR concept of approaching individual training challenges and erg tests with “curiosity.” Erg training and individual pieces are a way to test personal limits: no judgement, aim high, do the work, identify your edge of maximal performance. It’s a mature, positive, growth-oriented mindset to bring to the individual challenges in rowing.
Favorite Song to Erg to: ABBA; “Nothin’ But A G Thang.”
Favorite Happy Song: “Say Hey” by Michael Franti.
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: I think that the RSR lesson that 'you are not your performance’ is such a powerful one for athletes. We are seeing this a lot in the news today; fortunately competitors like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka are advancing the conversation about athlete mental health. The most successful performers can be consistently excellent because they maintain a perspective that is bigger than their event or sport. That takes mental discipline and a supportive network, which are essentially what RSR is all about.
What Makes RSR Different? I love that at RSR, athletes intentionally work on these critical mental skills early in their careers. It’s great to look back in the rearview mirror and understand how certain challenges, failures and successes, and team experiences have shaped you as an athlete. At RSR athletes work together in a supportive environment to ready themselves to identify and make the most of these moments.
Favorite RSR Lesson: I love the RSR lesson about Perception vs. Preparation. It's an eye-opening lesson for the athletes to understand that their mental approach to workouts and races and how they PERCEIVE the work that they've done is just as important as doing the work.
Favorite Song to Erg to: Muse "Survival"
Favorite Happy Song: Mark Ronson "Uptown Funk"
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: I feel like an overall more confident person since beginning to coach at RSR. I have been so much better about my own internal self-talk, not only during workouts but just in regular life stuff.
What Makes RSR Different? The RSR approach is to coach the whole athlete, to meet each individual where she is and help her to see how life can influence rowing and rowing can have a very positive influence on life. I love this aspect of the team. It can't be just about the training - the physical. It also can't be just about the mental approach. Attention has to be paid to both pieces and how they interact with each other.
Favorite RSR Lesson: My favorite RSR lesson is the "what would you tell a friend with this problem" lesson. Positive self talk is a game changer.
Favorite Song to Erg to: Imagine Dragons “Whatever it takes”
Favorite Happy Song: Taylor Swift “22”
Favorite Personal Lesson from RSR: Every time I go to an RSR camp I can work on the same lessons (and new ones) and find new pieces of inspiration and directions. My favorite personal lesson I have learned from RSR is that no matter how much you master a subject, there is always other perspectives that you can learn from to help you grow even more into the subject or ability. Go into every day with an open mind and you will take in so much more.
What Makes RSR Different? RSR encourages you to dive deep into becoming more than just a good rower, it challenges rowers to find out what is inside of them that can uniquely take them to their best qualities as a person. The mental skills taught through RSR impact so far beyond just rowing, but help develop the abilities to communicate with and understand yourself. This basis is transitional to almost every part of your life and ability to grow.