20 Questions To Ask Before Selecting Your Spring Training Venue
Spring fever is in the air and, if you haven’t already, you’re probably considering your options for escaping the cold and getting your spring training on. Changes in latitudes don’t just make for changes in attitudes — Jimmy Buffett’s anthem to go where it’s warm can make or break a team’s race performance in the upcoming season, too.
Not all spring training sites are created equal, however. Having rowed, coached and overseen spring training events across the state of Florida, Casey Baker has some insights for any team wanting to make the most of their time in the warmer climates. Some options may fit the budgetary bill, but could be swamped with pleasure boats or other caveats to consider. Here are 20 questions to ask before your crew commits to its spring training venue this year:
1. How much mileage do you want to cover each day at each practice?
2. What are the weather and wind conditions typically like in the area you’re considering? Can you afford to lose a day or more of water practice due to weather or wind?
3. What is the venue’s proximity to housing, dining, groceries, etc.? (Obviously this translates into travel time to be budgeted to and fro).
4. What is the cost of nearby housing and/or vehicle rental for transportation?
5. What are some alternative activities for your team when not training?
6. If in Florida, is a beach experience important or a consideration?
7. Does salt water affect your decision, either for the rowers or for your equipment? If salt water, is there fresh water to wash equipment after practices?
8. Is there a nearby hospital or medical facility?
9. What land training options are there nearby? Ergometers, running, gyms? Are there any other amenities, such as restrooms, at the site you're considering?
10. Colleges often have competitions at spring break. How close is the competition site?
11. What other teams are also training at the site at the same time?
12. Is there access to coach launches, fully-equipped with dependable motors, fuel tanks and safety equipment? Are they reliable and, if there is a problem, is someone available to assist?
13. Are there speed zones, such as Manatee Zones or No Wake Zones, that would affect ability of coach’s launches to follow their crews?
14. Is crime in the area a consideration?
15. Does the possibility of freezing weather make a difference?
16. Venues may be on lakes, rivers or canals. What is the pleasure boating population like? Will you be in a waterski/wakeboarding/fishing area? Will you be in other heavily traveled areas with commercial boat traffic?
17. How crowded is the venue you are considering? Will other teams be present or competing for time at the same facility?
18. Are there local clubs who could provide shells for rent?
19. Are there manufacturer’s reps nearby who could offer service, if needed? Could they facilitate the opportunity to trial or demo a shell where you are considering training?
20. If you need to service your truck or trailer, are there options nearby?
Good luck finding your spring training destination this year and please don't hesitate to contact RESOLUTE if you need any assistance gearing up.
Casey Baker is an icon in Florida rowing, rigger extraordinaire, and Southeast Sales Representative for RESOLUTE. His rowing career began at the Florida Institute of Technology and continues with his involvement in the Southern Sprints Indoor Rowing Championship and as VP of the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA). When Casey is not out on the water rowing or traveling to regattas he can be found surfing Florida’s east coast. > Learn more