Well, there’s a lot of gossip flying around about the recent changes that have taken place at PTC. There’s nothing I can do about that, but I can make a few simple points here about what is changing.
On Tuesday morning, all of the USRowing Training Center athletes–men, women, and lightweights–were informed of the changes involving coaching staff turnover, and athlete relocation. Kris Korzeniowski has been released from the USRowing coaching staff, and the male athletes training at PTC will be relocating. The Open Men will be moving to Chula Vista, CA where Tim McLaren will remain the head coach and the Light Men will be moving to Oklahoma City where John Parker remains the head coach.
From an athlete standpoint, these changes seemed to happen very quickly, and I felt as though after sitting in on meetings between the USRowing staff and both the men’s and women’s teams, that the most pronounced reaction was simply surprise. However, with some time to digest the change, I feel that athletes have generally settled in to a positive outlook on the move and what it will mean to have the teams united in their respective camps as we move toward London in 2012.
I know that, as with any major change in a large organization, there are people who are directly involved with the team (as well as people who aren’t) who are upset. I hope that those concerns can be brought forward to athlete reps or directly to USRowing staff and administration in order to make sure that affected athletes will have the support and resources they need in order to adapt successfully to this change.
For those with questions about how or why these changes were enacted, I encourage you to communicate with the HPC and USRowing to quell any doubts you may have regarding these changes. After having spoken with administration, I support the decisions that were made, and hope that this will help to unify the talent of our Open Men’s program so they can kick ass in Bled next year. These are choices that were made by senior staff and coaches (not the HPC) in order to move forward with the program and talent development so our athletes have the best possible chance to medal in London. Period.
If you are upset about or confused by these changes, please do something productive about it. Call or email individuals who have accurate information about the changes:
Matt Imes (HP director): firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Merry (USRowing Ex. Director): email@example.com
Or, please email me directly. As an HPC rep, I promise to answer questions candidly and to be as honest and direct as I can be in order to settle any issues or doubts fostered by these changes.
Good luck to my friends and brothers on the Men’s Team who are preparing for their move. Some of these men are friends with whom I have been training with for the better part of a decade. I hope they will find more success and more speed working with Tim and Cam and the rest of their teammates out in California. I have to admit I am just a little bit jealous.
Long Live the Dream,