We started from nothing now we’re here… Senior Men’s Squad – End of Season Review
By Chris Clements
“Rebuild”, “development” and “long term project” were all words used at the start of the 2016/17 season, more palatable wording for “we’re starting again from scratch”. With a massive turnover in the summer, new coaching team and about a quarter of the squad having rowed the year before (at any club), it really was starting with a blank sheet of paper.
It ended up being a fantastic year, meaning our starting position for next year could not be more different than a year ago. The season is probably best summed up by a few key achievements.
- Not giving in – We set ambitious goals at the start of the year, at times they looked a long way off, but it came together in the end, qualifying an eight (and a double) for Henley. We picked up wins at Reading, Marlow, Kingston, Putney Town and Molesey, with 75% of the squad picking up a win at some point in the season.
- We ended the year with a bigger squad than we started – Spurred on by squad rules including “Don’t be a dick” and “The squad comes first” we did the unheard of and actually grew the size of the squad through the winter. The positive training environment meant as the season went on commitment increased, there were more ergs completed and we were pushing to fit in more water sessions wherever we could.
- We all improved (dramatically). With the support of a fantastic and committed coaching team, the technical standards of the squad moved on significantly throughout the year. Old bad habits were crushed and boats moved faster as a result.
- It was actually enjoyable – The squad embraced the Vesta way, taking our training seriously but also having a good time. Occasionally this included more beverages than it perhaps should, but if your rowing club will have the best, cheapest and friendliest bar on the tideway…
All in all it was a fantastic year, one which was challenging, rewarding but most of all enjoyable. We’ve set up for the new season to take on the next challenge, with virtually all of the squad returning, and ready to step on. Talk is of pre-qualification for Henley as a minimum next year, and if the improvement this year is replicated, it’s hard to believe that we won’t at least achieve that and maybe more…
If you’re interested in joining us you can register your interest here, or pop down to the club for a chat.