Coach Julia Gamache reflects on the 2015 Fall Season
As we close out the 2015 fall season, it is important to look back at our accomplishments as well as identify the challenges we faced. It is known that in the beginning of the year, our coaching staff went from 2 to 1 as Toby accepted a once in a lifetime position in Texas. It is not well known though, that moments after the announcement, most of the team was congratulating Toby and the next day, everyone was ready to commit to moving forward. We got into a routine very quickly and did not miss a beat in our training.
Though we had this small hiccup, it was not going to pull our athletes away from their commitment to the team. Between our third place finish in the Novice 8 in Sacramento and the V8 battling Santa Barbara during the Fall Classic, our performance on the water spoke for itself. But wait there’s more; the size of our team is a little over 6 8’s between the Novice and Varsity, which is to say, we have a very good retention rate. I can attribute this to the inter-squad bond that has been missing in past years. The squads know each other and encourage each other; there is truly no room on this team for a negative hierarchy system. And another thing; our erg times show a major success, as we just recently proved in our final erg duel against friendly rivals; Washington State University. Our V8, JV and Novice A were all victorious over a 6k land race, with our Novice light 8 just seconds behind WSU.
This team is not without its grumbles and “off days”, however, our successes have outnumbered our hardships and any sign of adversity is seen as an opportunity. We will surely have many more “opportunities” as we enter 2016 and it will be interesting to see what we do with them. One thing is for sure though; it will be a fun season to watch.
Now let’s move forward; Spring is always an exciting time as the Varsity has been itching for racing starts and Novice have no clue what they are getting themselves into. Going into the Spring, we will have at least two additions to the staff. Bernie Aparicio and Jeff Murt will be volunteer assistant coaches for both the Novice and Varsity squads. In our first coaches meeting, I felt a strong desire from both Bernie and Jeff to continue to grow this team into champions. More than anything though, I felt that we were all on the same page with goals and what is best for the team. As always, I believe in consistency as the number one factor for team success. As long as we have consistency through the staff on values and technique and the team believes in it, the sky is the limit.
So Happy Holidays from the Aztecs, we will see you all in 2016!
-Coach Julia Gamache