Chris Leonard is a stud and his coaching techniques are second to none. See what he has to say about Week 1 against The Storm
Well, we are finally here, week 1 against the Southeast Storm. It has been a long wait throughout this “new normal” and we are all itching for some competition. That need for competition has led to some extremely creative minds shaking up the rowing world, something that is a welcome change.
Week 1 of any new season brings excitement and curiosity. Who is going to be fast this year? who had a better off season? will teams be able to build off last season? The Premier Rowing League adds even more questions because nothing like this has been done before. That said, the Southwest has an advantage. We thrive in our own little bubble out here on the West Coast. We spend the season banging heads with the top teams in the country at every level. Whether junior, collegiate or masters, there are always Southwest teams in contention for a national championship. Now we are in a league where we can combine all of those teams into one super team AND add athletes from other sports? Watch out!
“All it does is create false hope that leads to crushed spirits down the road."
I know what everyone is thinking, “this is an erg competition and those West coasters are soft and on the water all year.” Being from the East coast, I know I thought that too. It’s an easy trap to fall into and it is something that everyone that has to deal with winter training tells themselves. Maybe it is a mentality thing so going into races, they think they have a mental edge.
Maybe it is motivation throughout winter training to prove that you’re tougher than the competition. Maybe it’s a build in excuse come race season to justify losing to a team that has had a lot more water time.
Whatever it is, it creates a funny mindset. There is so much high-level rowing up and down the East coast that people sometimes forget there are absolute powerhouses out West. I’ve been getting texts and emails saying to watch out for this team or we have a surprise for so and so region. That’s all fine and I’m sure people have great athletes. All it does is create false hope that leads to crushed spirits down the road.
I know I have been billed as the guy that is all talk and runs his mouth. We are used to that impression of the Southwest. We aren’t the typical cookie-cutter prep school athletes that try to be proper and we like it that way. There is a confidence out here that comes from a rowing tradition that is steeped in history of success. It is easy to forget that since we only see a majority of the country once or twice a year. So while it seems like a lot of talk, in reality it is a pride in our athletes and what we do day in and day out.
The Armada makes landfall in 2 days. Better be ready.