Read below for Coach Chris Garver's installment in the Why I Coach Series and learn about some of his favorite coaching memories and love for Allegheny River sunsets and stick around to get his thoughts on the Titanic. Then help support Coach Chris by registering for the Summer Splash!
What are your current coaching roles?
Currently, I am an assistant coach with RMU Women’s Rowing, TRRA Masters A Team, and Three Rivers Youth Rowing.
When did you first begin coaching?
My first coaching job was with the Adaptive team (summer of 2016 after graduating from Pitt). From there, I worked with Morning Women, First Row, Mid-Morning Masters, Two-Day, Summer and Winter Rowing Leagues, AAA Team, and Pitt.
What is your favorite thing about coaching?
The best part of coaching is seeing athletes make friends with each other. Some of my best friends today are those whom I met on my high school team. So from middle schoolers to those who have years of life experience, I enjoy seeing people come together for a common purpose. Another fun part of coaching is seeing people be proud of the work that they’ve put in. Whether it is having that “a-ha” moment when things click or feeling accomplished at a race after months of training, it is cool to see people be happy for what they have achieved.
Seeing the sunrise and sunset on the Allegheny is also at the top of the list.
Do you have a particularly favorite memory about coaching?
Two of my favorite memories are hearing athletes talk about their experiences. The first was at the Dad Vail Regatta at the end of the year and overhearing a Pitt novice say “joining this team is the best decision that I’ve made.” The other memory is quite recent. A current TRYR athlete was talking about his favorite memory/proudest accomplishment. He mentioned a competition that he did a few years ago at a middle school learn-to-row camp. Each event involved tennis balls and the prize was a last-minute craft of tennis ball medals (old HOTO ribbons combined with tennis balls being the medal portion). He mentioned that he still has it hanging on his wall and that he is so proud of earning that. So it was cool to hear that what I thought was small at the time ended up being significant to another person.
What else would you like to share?
Growing up, I was absolutely terrified of being on boats (thanks to the movie Titanic). It took my mom dragging me by the ear to learn-to-row camp when I finally became comfortable being on the water
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