Ready Set Row Camp Testimonials

Best Rowing Camp Summer 2019


“Our daughter just returned from RSR Development Camp and there simply aren't words to describe this life altering experience! Holly and her staff are truly amazing and the female empowerment piece of the program is such a gift to any young woman. My daughter learned how to be fearless, dig deep and believe in herself, her teammates and her coaches. She told us during camp, "If Holly believes I can do it, I believe it too!" She walked away with a confidence and love of the sport that we had not previously seen. What was even cooler was the love and support these girls showed each other at Club Nationals. Watching the girls run along the river and cheer each other on was priceless, and a true testament to the culture of this program. Our daughter improved her 2K by 27 seconds from the beginning of camp to the end and placed 3rd and 5th at Club Nationals despite only rowing in one other USRowing (regional) regatta. Insane! So blessed to have Holly as a role model and mentor. If we could go back in time, we would have had our daughter start with the Foundation Camp and likely do two years at Development Camp. It is that special!”

— Susan Donlan RSR 2018 Development Team Parent

“Thank you coach Holly for being such a terrific role model to my daughter. Not only did you encourage her to #bebrave but you also taught her that the sky’s the limit if you work hard. In just three weeks, she PR’ed in her 2k erg test by 9 seconds, place 3rd at Club Nationals in the Intermediate 8+ and she is fitter, faster and more self confident than ever. But, more important than a medal, or an erg score, RSR taught her the mental skills, the rowing technique and the work ethics that she will need as a collegiate rower at the University of Washington. She will miss RSR and her teammates. Thanks for a great summer. I cannot recommend RSR enough.”

— Lorena Devlyn RSR 2018 Development Team Parent

 2017 Summer ROWING CAMPS

"I want to thank Coach Holly and RSR so much for this summer and all your help and time you invested in me. I saw myself grow so much mentally and physically and I couldn't be where I am today without you and all your help! Thanks!"

— 2017 RSR DEV Alum currently signed to row DI in College. 

"My daughter attended the 2017 RSR Foundation Camp at the Dublin School this past summer and it exceeded all of our expectations. She came back a "changed" rower! Not only did her skills increase drastically, but her love of the sport grew as well. Holly and her staff were outstanding and created a life altering week for these girls; physically, emotionally and mentally. I am grateful beyond words!"

— Stefani Kimche RSR 2017 Foundation Camp Parent


2K Rowing Clinic Testimonial 2016

"The RSR 2K Clinic was pivotal for me in my final year of high school rowing and heading into a DI collegiate program because I learned tangible skills and tools that are directly applicable to my college experience. I came away with tools to help me focus and manage challenges, setbacks and the stress that comes with college academics and athletics. I also grew my confidence which has helped me fit into a new school and crew team."

— 2016 RSR 2K Clinic Alumna currently rowing at DI college rowing team


2016 Summer ROWING CAMPS


“Being apart of the RSR family has been an amazing experience. Being able to train in such a beautiful place surrounded by girls who are just as driven as you to focus on rowing and be competitive was such a pivotal moment going into my senior year. I chose RSR specifically because of the effort we were able to put in beyond working hard in a boat. As a team we focused on confidence and mental grit (my favorite) as well as teamwork and goal setting, all of things I use every single day on my adventure as a female athlete and a well rounded, happy human being. All of the things we worked on obviously reflected the values of the coaches and all the women who came in to speak to us. Beginning on day one till now they have helped me grow and pushed me to be aggressive with my goals. I was able to receive support as I embarked on my search for my dream college and I could easily call many of them idols to me as strong and confident female athletes. I still keep in touch with my teammates in different parts of the US and will always be able to call them some of my best friends. As I continue to look back at RSR I am thankful for the things I learned about myself and the sport of rowing. I think that it is an amazing experience for any girl who loves to grow her inner bad ass."

— RSR Dev16 ATHLETE, Current Division I athlete

"Working with Coach Holly and training at RSR was the first place that I started to understand and then train the mental game. I still have the Word Cloud that my teammates made to describe me- it's above my desk. I still have the letter that Coach Holly wrote to me and when I am having a rough day, I still ask myself what you have taught us, "What can you do TODAY to get where you want to be?" I also kept one of the self-reflections that we did at camp, the Personal Recommendation Letter because it reminds me where I have come from and how much I have already done. I never thought I could do this (row in college) and here I am doing it. Coach Holly was the first person to tell me, "You can do it."

— RSR Dev16 ATHLETE, Current Division I athlete

“Being an RSR alumna I highly suggest attending Ready Set Row. This camp taught me many lessons not only about rowing, but about myself as well. Coach Holly made me fall in love with this sport even more. She taught me to never give up and to work past obstacles. I learned as a coxswain that I can feel and be on the same page as a rower if I observe deeper. For three weeks I worked with many rowers who I now call my family.

— RSR DEV16 ATHLETE, Current Division III athlete


Best Rowing Camp 2015-2016

“As a current D1 rower, Holly came into my life when I really needed her the most. I was struggling with how to approach my mental game during great times of adversity. Because of this, I was struggling to decide whether or not to keep rowing, she never sugar coated anything but talked to me in an authentic way to help me make the best decision for me as a whole person.
I kept rowing, and as a senior I am doing well. I’m stroking the varsity four of a top 25 team (that is very much climbing) and loving [just about] every stroke. Holly really facilitates the mental game of each rower in an incredibly impactful way. She was present when I was doing a difficult 6K test set and in her coaching of those pieces, as with every time we’ve talked, she has had a great balance of making me build on my own foundation as an athlete, but also pushes me to go beyond my own expectations.

— FORMER ROWER AT Duke University '16

“Most coaches are focused on the performance of their athletes, logging and examining parameters like speed and strength. Some include mental toughness and resilience in their programs. And then there are an elite few who provide a level of mentorship, which exceeds these metrics. Holly Austin is one such rare breed. Her approach is holistic and is committed to both the process and the outcome. She nurtures a sense of accomplishment and intrinsic motivation by building relationships with her athletes. Holly sets high expectations and provides all the scaffolding necessary for her athletes to reach their goals. Training with Holly will most certainly improve your “numbers,” but it will also reveal and unleash your potential both on and off the water. Love the fight!"

— Anna Wirth Ready Set Row Winter Training 2015-2016 Parent


2015 Summer ROWING CAMPS


“Ready Set Row’s land training camp has definitely been a life changing experience for my daughter. She now understands what it takes to be a complete athlete. This camp is much more than just a rowing experience. It has very high standards and focuses on all aspects of being an elite athlete. Coach Holly is amazing!!! What a great motivator and encouraging coach. She has definitely made an impact in my daughters life. I am so thankful.... We look forward to future camps."

— Alexandra Gutierrez Ready Set Row 2015 Parent

“Ready Set Row was spectacular. The program encompassed so many aspects of athleticism: mental, physical and emotional, addressing nutrition, motivation, sleep, and goal-setting among others. Holly personalized the program for every rower and continued to push the athletes beyond their perceived limits. This type of success is amazing and transformative...just like this program! It’s one of a kind and I highly recommend it."

— Jill Dixon Ready Set Row 2015 Parent


Holly's Testimonials


“Positive, articulate, and remarkably hard-working, whether as an undergraduate athlete on our team, a young assistant coach on my staff, or a mental-skills and motivational consultant working with our athletes, Holly has been a significant contributor in our efforts to build a strong, enthusiastic and successful women’s rowing team here at Harvard.
She has a talent for drawing out the best in individuals. She is able to challenge and encourage, she can build energy and spirit within a team and she has a great eye for the technical skills that make boats go fast. She has been a great leader and a mentor to many of our athletes."

— Liz O'Leary Head Coach of Harvard/Radcliffe Crew


“First as my team-mate, and then as my coach, Holly showed me how success on the erg and the water demands careful preparation, grit, and resilience, strength in both body and mind. Holly has the ability to light a fire within any athlete, to give them the tools to keep it stoked, and empower them to surpass any limitations you thought you had. She is a gifted motivator who has an innate ability to understand what different athletes need in order to succeed. She was instrumental in developing the depth of power, mental strength, and determination that drove the Harvard-Radcliffe women through our 2003 NCAA Championship season. 
On a daily basis, now as a surgeon, I draw on the lessons I learned from Holly in team-building, leadership, and personal work ethic. She will give you the tools to empower you to surpass your potential."

— Sarah Psutka MD MSc, Fellow in Urologic Oncology, Mayo Clinic; Captain, Harvard-Radcliffe Rowing Team, 2003 Division I NCAA Championship Team

“I believe, as does Holly, that preparation for performance must be mental as well as physical. As a teammate, she helped teach me what real mental toughness is. As a coach, she was instrumental in helping the team balance athletics and academics at Harvard. In 2003 our final exam schedule and racing schedule overlapped - that preparation was critical to maintaining focus and drive that then lead us to win the 2003 NCAA championship and still prioritize our academics.”

— Caryn Davies JD/MBA Candidate Oxford University; Stroke US Womens Gold medal Olympic Eight 2012 & 2008; Harvard-Radcliffe Rowing Team, 2003 Division I NCAA Championship Team

“Holly’s coaching not only prepared me for rowing in a Division I rowing team, but also for the coaching, academic, and business career that came after graduation. She taught me how to be a team player and a leader which laid the foundation for my own personal growth."

— Morgan White MBA Candidate NYU Stern '16 and former Pine Crest athlete

“Rowing is about more than just strength. It is about efficiency and desire and teamwork. Holly was able to take 5 very different women and bring us together into one boat with more focus, power and speed than I’ve felt with any other boat or with any other rowing coach, and that enabled us to meet our season goals. Holly helped us qualify for the Grand Finals at the NCAA championships, and to do our part to help make our team the 2003 NCAA Division I National Champions."

— Dr. Anna McLoon Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology; Radcliffe Rowing Team, 2003 Division I NCAA Championship Team

“Without question, Holly knows what it takes to achieve elite physical performance. More importantly, she intuitively understands the nuances of dismantling perceived limitations, building self confidence and realizing leadership capabilities in high school and college level athletes. Holly has the amazing ability of taking raw athletes with potential and turning them into unstoppable, intrinsically motivated powerhouses. Direct, kind, tough, and loving, Holly has what it takes to help others succeed. "

— Natalie Reese CEO of NADUPOR Consulting and former SAS rower with Holly