Speakers and Presentations WWS2019

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Pre-Conference Workshop: A Roadmap To Rig For Speed & Recovery w/ Mike Davenport

Friday, February 1st
Dinner Included
There’s more to rigging than making adjustments for speed. There are serious rigging actions you can take to improve training, assist recovery (and YES in the long run - find speed)

In this intimate rigging and rowing-equipment clinic, designed for intermediate- to advanced-Riggers, you can expect to learn:

1. The core component of effective rigging, including the Pyramid of Boat Speed and Performance
2. Why focusing on “leverage” and “load” is critical for training and recovery
3. The impact of rigger, oar, foot stretcher, blade size and oarlock on the rower
4. How to correctly measure and adjustment your equipment for correct load
5. How and where you can find rigging numbers for your situation
6. Why outside forces (such as weather) impact the load and what you can do

Come ready for hand’s on learning.

This clinic will use the format of “teach, do, feedback.” Blending discussion of leverage and load, with hands on activities, you’ll get a better understanding of the interaction of rower, equipment, and speed.

Don’t forget this critical component of smart-and-effective rower training. And sign up now to get the most from your rigging, and your rower’s training and recovery.

Clinic is presented by Dr. Mike Davenport. Mike has been coaching rowing or 38 years, was boatman for the 1992-1995 U.S. World Championship teams as well as for the 1996 Olympic Team, created MaxRigging.com, and has authored numerous books on rowing and coaching and is a regular speaker at coaching conferences, workshops, and conventions. 


Lessons From Olympians for Every Athlete

Keynote Panel:
Mary Whipple Murray - Coxswain - Olympic Gold 2008, 2012
Caryn Davies - Stroke Seat - Olympic Gold 2008, 2012
Erin Cafaro Mackenzie - Bow Seat - Olympic Gold 2008, 2012

Olympians face the same frustrations and setbacks that junior and collegiate athletes do.  The difference is that we have learned to manage it. High level athletes learn that if you burn your light bright at all times, it will burn out;  you need to turn the light off and rest physically, or shine it on something else and rest mentally or emotionally.

This will be a storytelling session of the trials and tribulations involved in training for the Olympics--stories that bear witness to the importance of the strategies you will learn about in your breakout sessions this weekend.  We’ll teach you how to help your athletes manage their stressors and go faster when it matters. 

Performance Breathing: Train to Manage Stress

Keynote Address - Active Session
Speaker: Rob Wilson
Back by popular demand, the Sunday Keynote will be an active session that promotes learning by doing. An interactive session with a holistic approach to managing stressors that influence athlete's performance and their lives. Rob will lead this session with easy to understand principles and tools that can have real effect on sports performance and life. He’ll introduce breathing tools that are nearly zero cost, offer universal access to our deepest physiology and psychology, and are easy to learn and teach.

Row Strong: How decreased volume can lead to increased performance

Presented by: Glenn Harris
There are many ways to get strong.  This presentation will discuss what Glenn has been doing with elite rowers Gevvie Stone (Olympic Silver 2016 – W1x) and Mary Jones (World Championship Silver 2018 – LW2x).  The notion of “more is better” is not always true, especially when we look at training volume in the weight room.  Glenn will discuss his philosophy on designing a strength training plan that will complement a rower’s performance on the water.  The concepts shared in this presentation can be used to design programs for rowers of all levels.

Resilience: A new perspective on performance anxiety

Presented by Erin Cafaro MacKenzie

You are sitting at the starting line for the most important race of your life. You feel your heart fluttering, your breathing getting faster and shallower, you look down and your hand is trembling, and you feel like you might vomit all over the rower in front of you. You ask, “How do you get rid of this awful feeling before a race starts?”

My answer is, you don’t.

Anxiety is a natural and beneficial process your body and mind go through to get ready for maximum output. Anxious energy can be used to help you get off the line faster, react, learn and perform better if directed, processed, and recovered from appropriately. Yet, in today’s fast paced input heavy world, the diagnoses of anxiety disorders is rapidly growing and hitting much younger populations. With the cumulative pressures of school, family, and social, not to mention the competitive nature of athletes drawn to the sport of rowing, anxiety disorders are common and becoming more common amongst athletes.

We will take a deeper look into performance anxiety: what it is, when it can be helpful, when it becomes a disorder and time to intervene, recovery and coping skills, and how athletes can train to use their anxiety for better performance, just like the rowing stroke.


Polarized Training for Rowing, stepping back from the volume training doctrine

Presented by Justin Moore

More training produces more training response, which produces more fitness, or does it?  More fatigue means that you have done more hard work than your competition, which means you will be more prepared to race, or does it?  America is a country of more, more, more - just ask Andrea True Connection.  Early in their careers, athletes are rewarded for increases in training intensity and volume.  This reinforces the concept of “more is better”.  Coaches tend to “borrow” the methods of those who are currently successful in their field (emphasis on increasing rating followed the Brown Women’s success at the NCAAs, and emphasis on international recruiting and volume followed Ohio State’s run at the NCAAs).  The result is that most training programs tend to look very similar.  So, if you have similar athletes, and are doing the same work, how do you win?  By doing more.  

Polarized Training contradicts many of these doctrines.  Some tremendous competitive results are being produced using the polarized method in other sports (track and field and swimming).  Polarized Training embraces the concept that athletes are human and need to live full and complete lives.  When the limits of the human body and mind begin to succumb to the demands of the volume approach, polarized training offers a refreshing, and scientifically supported, method of training for those who are seeking a different path. 


Coaching the Coxswain: Mental Recovery? Or Mental Tune-up! 

Presented by Mary Whipple Murray

I know what everyone is thinking.  Coxswains don't need recovery. That is exactly what I first thought when asked to present. After thinking about training and recovery I quickly realized that coxswains need to fine tune their brain in the same way that rowers fine tune their bodies.  From race reports and audio review to debriefing teachable moments, we will discuss how to keep coxswains engaged and how they can adapt to become what the teams (and boat) needs.  This session will help coaches lay out coxswain training to get them race ready.


Happy rowers are fast rowers: Performance, recovery and self-worth

Presented by Caryn Davies

How can I help the athletes I coach make it to a Division I program--or even to the Olympics?  The answer may be counter-intuitive: encourage them to develop a sense of self-worth that is not dependent on their athletic performance.  We’ve known for some time that overtraining causes depression and diminished self-worth. I posit that enjoyment and increased self-worth can facilitate recovery and prevent overtraining.  In this breakout session, you will learn actionable strategies that coaches can use to help athletes increase their enjoyment, develop their self-worth, and ultimately get faster.


5 Ways Sleep Affects Athletic Performance (and what you can do about it) 

Presented by Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

The research is very clear on our need to sleep in order to reach peak performance. This is true for athletes and non-athletes alike. Thanks to technological advances, in the last several years we have learned much about the benefits of sleep for our cognitive health, emotional health, and physical health. Understanding how these findings translate to the athlete is paramount for a coach who cares about recruiting, retention and performance.


Training Does NOT Make You Faster, Recovery Does (How To Teach Your Athletes To Listen to Their Bodies and How You Can Listen To Them)

Presented by Ethan Curren


Nutritional Strategies to Promote Optimal Performance

Presented by Laura Moretti, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Nutrition can often feel like a daunting topic for many athletes. This session will focus on evidence-based nutrition practices and strategies to promote optimal performance in rowers. We will discuss the unique fueling needs of rowers in terms of macronutrients, hydration, and supplementation. This session will also focus on common dietary pitfalls in the sport of rowing and how to best address these with your team and athletes. Lastly I will focus on fueling techniques to optimize recovery. 


Lactate Testing and Training: Is it a good choice for your program?

Presented by Tom Siddall, IRL Fellow, Class of 2019

The goal of this workshop is for coaches to understand what lactate testing is, how it can inform their athlete's training, what materials they need, and finally wrap up by watching a practical application of the testing with a hands-on demonstration. 


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Mike Davenport


My rowing equipment experience started as a college freshmen when I tripped over an oar and broke it. From that moment on I realized there was something special about rowing equipment—and how it should be treated. Today, I teach busy rowers, distracted coaches, and hassled coxswains about rigging and how to get the most out of their rowing equipment. I also work as a collegiate rowing coach and adjunct professor at Washington College, in Chestertown, Maryland.

At Washington College, I oversaw both the women's and men's rowing programs. I was appointed Washington's sixth women's rowing head coach in the summer of 1990. Prior to that, I was head coach at the University of Albany. I graduated from FIT in 1978, where I was lucky enough to win several Dad Vail medals. After graduation, I remained as an assistant coach and we were lucky enough (again) to win several national titles as well as the Dad Vail overall point trophy.

My coaching experience has extended well beyond the collegiate experience realm and onto the National Rowing Team. For two years, I was an assistant coach to the US Pre-Elite Heavyweight team. I spent the summer of 1991 in Cuba as a member of the Pan American team and was a member of the 1992-95 US World Championship teams. Most recently, I was a member of the 1996 Olympic Team in Atlanta, GA.

A collegiate coach for 27 years, I also serve as Washington's compliance coordinator and as an adjunct professor. Apart from my duties at the college, I wear several other hats. I am one of the founders of SportWork; have authored several books (Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging, Excel with the NCAA Bylaws, and Acid Reflux in Infants and Children); have spoken regularly at coaching conferences, workshops, and conventions; and am a primary educational consultant for USRowing.

As a consultant, author, and professional speaker, I hope I show in honest and creative ways how people can use their physical and mental tools and resources to maximize their performance, be faster, save money, and reduce the stress and strain of dealing with rowing equipment. In what some call the "most intensive equipment sport there is" I show many beginners and experts how to thrive.

My books and other websites are well subscribed and include the best suggestions, tips, and information about rowing equipment you'll find anywhere. I live in Maryland with my family and two cats (who don't care much for rowing).


Mary Whipple Murray

Three-time Olympic Medalist (Gold - 2012, 2008 Silver - 2004) and Founder of The 9th Seat

In addition to being the USA’s most decorated coxswain as a three time Olympic medalist, Mary Whipple is a motivational speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, Mary coxed the women’s varsity four to a national title in 1999. Subsequently, she coxed the varsity eight to victory at the Royal Henley Regatta in 2000, taking home the Huskies first-ever Henley Prize. In 2001 and 2002, Mary coxed the varsity eight to back-to-back NCAA championships, and the Huskies also took home the team title in 2001. Mary coxed the 2004 Olympic eight to a silver medal, the first medal for the USA in 20 years. She and her crew set the foundation for a successful campaign toward the next Olympics. Mary steered the eight to two World Championship titles in 2006 and 2007 en route to a gold medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

After earning her Masters of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington, Mary again guided the USA women to consecutive World Championship wins in 2010 and 2011. In London in 2012, Mary and her teammates again reached the pinnacle with a repeat gold medal in the women’s eight. 


Caryn Davies

CarynDavies web

Caryn represented Team USA in three Summer Games, earning a silver medal in Athens 2004, a gold medal in Beijing 2008, and another gold in London 2012, all in the women's eight. Caryn served on USRowing's Board of Directors for six years, and she currently serves as a Vice President of the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Caryn studied psychology and Germanic languages. She went on to earn a JD from Columbia Law School and an MBA from Oxford University's Saïd Business School. For her day job, Caryn works as a corporate lawyer at Goodwin, a large Boston law firm. Caryn also works as a consultant and performance coach at Valor Performance, Inc., a company devoted to helping executives and salespeople ignite and sustain peak performance.


Erin Cafaro Mackenzie

ErinCafaro web

Erin Cafaro MacKenzie is a 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing (USA W8+) from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.  She has podiumed at every World Championship rowing competition she ever competed at, accruing a total of 6 World Championships Gold Medals and 2 Bronze Medals, helping to break the stereotype of the sport only being for big and tall athletes. Since retiring from competitive sports, Erin has remained fascinated by the cognitive aspects of human performance and resiliency: how we thrive (or don’t) as new challenges are presented.  This intrigue has led her to pivot to the research field to learn how to ask better questions, so she can better help humans process life’s inevitable transitions. Erin is currently at Stanford University working as Research Asst. in the Neurobiology Department on a project aiming to understand and develop therapeutic strategies for disorders of sensory-limbic function, such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.


Rob Wilson


Rob comes from a formal education in manual therapy with 15+ years of experience as both a practitioner and teacher.  In the past decade and a half he has had the good fortune to work with a variety of athletes ranging from amateur, nationally ranked, and internationally ranked in everything from power lifting and sailing, to individuals in the US Naval Special Warfare Program.  Rob truly enjoys working with the tactical communities of the U.S. Armed Forces as a private human performance consultant and through groups like the Resiliency Project – which seek to further the resources available to military groups. Prior to creating the Art of Breath series with Brian Mackenzie, where they work closely with Stanford Universities Neuroscience department, Rob was an original member of the world renowned MobilityWod staff under the direction of Dr. Kelly Starrett.

Rob is a passionate teacher to the core. Throughout the course of his career as a manual therapist and coach, one thing became abundantly clear; it’s better to teach a person to fish. Without education athletes are left to unknowingly repeat patterns of behavior that may not be pursuant to the actual desired outcome.  That is to say the best remedy is often learning. Rob’s journey is about developing a deeper understanding of human performance to better serve those who wish to actualize their potential.


Glenn Harris


Glenn is the head strength coach for Boston University.  He supervises all strength and conditioning programs for the Terriers' 24 varsity teams. Glenn and his staff aim to improve an athlete's size, speed, strength and power using the latest training techniques. Recently Glenn has had the opportunity to work with elite rowers Gevvie Stone and Mary Jones.  His philosophy is that strength training should support an athlete's main sport and he will share how this philosophy has helped Gevvie and Mary succeed at both the Olympics and the World Championships.

Glenn is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and also is Strength & Conditioning Coach certified (SCCC) by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association. He was presented with the certification of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach by the CSCCa in 2014. The certification is considered the highest honor that can be achieved in the coaching profession of strength and conditioning, and represents professionalism, knowledge, experience, expertise and longevity in the field.


Justin Moore

Justin Moore

After coaching for 27 years at Yale, Williams College, and Syracuse University, Justin Moore accepted the position of Chief Coach at CREW by True Rowing with the goal of sharing the many benefits of rowing and teamwork through the experience of “Live Outdoor Reality”.  At Yale, Moore was assistant coach to the Heavyweight Men.  In the 1995/1996 season, Moore’s freshman crew went undefeated, won the Eastern Sprints, beat arch-rival Harvard by 23 seconds and won the Temple Challenge Cup at the Royal Henley Regatta.  Moore transitioned to coaching women when he became the Head Coach of Women’s Rowing at Williams College.  There his crews won 6 national championships, with 5 in a row coming between 2006 - 2010.  In 2010, Syracuse University hired Moore to help their once proud program return to national prominence.  Under Moore, the Orangemen climbed the national rankings to earn three straight NCAA invitations from 2016-18.  In addition to coaching at the Collegiate Level, Moore was tapped as the Head Coach of the US U18 Women’s Sweep program in 2009 and 2010.  The US earned a gold medal in the women’s 8+ by open water in 2009, and in 2010 Moore led the US jr women to two silvers (4- and 8+) which marked the first time any US Jr team earned multiple medals at the World Championships.  In 2012, Moore was asked to lead the US U23 Women’s Sweep program.  The women’s 8+ won a gold medal in Lithuania, but Moore opted not to attend the championship for personal reasons.  In addition to rowing, Moore has been an avid marathoner, nordic skier and ironman triathlete.  He is a life-long learner, with a keen interest in the science and philosophies of training both body and mind.  In 2006/7 Moore had the good fortune of spending a year studying under three World Coach of the Years in Canada:  Al Morrow, Mike Spraklen and Bent Jensen.  Coach Moore is very excited to be back in the incredibly vibrant rowing community of Boston, and hopes that his time with CREW will massively increase the reach of the sport, and alter the paradigm for long-term sculling development in the US for decades to come. 


Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

TracyDavenport web

Dr. Tracy Davenport uses the latest scientific research to help busy professionals get their health back on track and live their best lives. Her clients include college coaches and sports teams who need help understanding how basic healthy behaviors can help them reach their peak performance. She works at a crossroads between psychology and human growth and development to educate and inspire. Dr. Tracy Davenport is a health writer and C.E.O. of Tracyshealthyliving.com.  Tracy holds a M.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Growth and Development. As a long-time health writer, a previous researcher, and now the owner of a wellness company called Tracyshealthyliving.com, she’s excited to share her knowledge and change lives. Tracy was also a four-year DII college rower back in the day and one of the developers of the US Rowing Coaching Education program. She works with corporate groups, teams, and individuals to help them reach their peak performance. You can contact her at Tracyshealthyliving.com and follow her on Instagram @drinksmoothies


Ethan Curren

EthanCurren web

Coach Curren is perhaps most well-known for his 22 year tenure at Community Rowing in Boston. His Junior Women’s crews won 16 medals at the USRowing Youth National Championships, 18 Henley Golds, 11 Head of the Charles Medals (7 gold), 14 Medals at CanAmMex (6 gold) and over a 100 medals at the USRowing Club Championships including more than 40 Golds. He has coached masters, collegiate and U23 crews as well as juniors.
Ethan Curren is currently an Assistant Coach of Men’s Rowing at Hobart College and Head Coach of the USRowing Women’s National Team U17 Development Camp. He has also served as the Director of Rowing and Head Coach at Genesee Waterways center, and Pittsford Crew.

He served as Director of Coaching Education for CRI from 2008-2013, and an Instructor at the Institute for Rowing Leadership. He has presented at conferences including the USRowing Convention, the Joy of Sculling, the Saratoga Juniors Conference as well as previously at the What Works Summit.


Laura Moretti, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN


Laura completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Didactic Program in Clinical Dietetics at New York University’s Steinhardt School. She completed her dietetic internship at New York Presbyterian including intensive training at the Weill Cornell Medical Center inpatient eating disorder treatment program. Laura is a Board Certified Sports Dietitian (CSSD) specializing in sports performance based nutrition as well as treating low energy availability, disordered eating, and eating disorders in athletes. After spending six years as the Primary Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist at Appleman Nutrition and Columbus Park Collaborative in New York City,  Laura moved to Boston to take on her current role as Dietitian in the Division of Sports Medicine and the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.


Tom Siddall, IRL Fellow, Class of 2019

Tom Siddall Headshot web

Tom Siddall spent his collegiate rowing career at Fairfield University, where he rowed for four years, three of them as a Captain. In this time the team more than doubled, started an endowment, and set the groundwork to have crews compete annually at the IRA regatta. Before rowing at Fairfield, he spent time sculling out of the Mt. Holyoke boathouse in his hometown of South Hadley, MA.

While training in college, Tom began coaching at Maritime Rowing Club (MRC) and New Canaan Crew. Upon completion of his degree, he accepted a position as an Assistant Coach with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Men’s Rowing team. At the same time, Tom moved from Assistant Coach to Head Coach at the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) in Springfield, MA. Through his tenure the last three years both programs have had both grand final appearances and medal performances at national regattas such as Northeast Regionals, ACRA, New England’s, Club Nationals, and many more.

Finally, in between coaching these two programs, Tom founded his own company Siddall Performance, coaching primarily Masters and U23 athletes. Tom is currently a fellow in the class of 2019 at the Institute for Rowing Leadership at CRI.

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