By Ariana Gastelum
Women’s Team President
With 11 years of experience in NCAA collegiate, club collegiate and Masters competitive programs, Anthony Chacon now trains the Long Beach State Rowing men’s team as its new head coach.
Chacon became involved in rowing when he was a student at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“I had to take a PE credit in college, so I took Weightlifting-101 or whatever they called it,” he said. “They paired me up with another small guy, and he was actually a rower…He took me to rowing practice one day, and I started doing it with the original intention to be a rower.”
Chacon ended up coxing the men’s novice team. Before the end of his novice year, he began coaching for intramural rowing.
Since 2003, Chacon has coached or assisted coaching for North Park University, Chicago Rowing Union, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Grand Valley State University.
In 2007, Chacon was head coach for Lincoln Park Boat Club in Chicago, who won a medal at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston within two years of him being there.
“By the end of my four years with the team, they had gone from a small team of about eight returning athletes to 32 total rowers,” he noted in a personal biography. “The team medaled in every race they had entries in.”
Chacon sent in his application to Long Beach because he is studying for his Masters in Kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University, and he wanted to coach while he was in the Orange County and Los Angeles area.
“My dad went here in the 60s, and it’s close to a lot of family,” he said. “It’s just beautiful here. I went to the Marina, and I was like, this is amazing. I’ve been coaching on an open sewer, and here, it’s like Baywatch.”
When Chacon was first introduced to the varsity team, he had the returning athletes fill out a questionnaire to learn about their overall attitude of last year’s performance and this year’s outlook.
“The replies that came in were nearly all positive in nature,” he noted. “There is some residual disappointment about their performances at regattas from last season, but they remain hopeful about the upcoming year.”
After working with the team for the first week, Chacon liked that everyone appeared “excited to be part of this new direction.”
Chacon has several tools and strategies for the team that he plans to utilize over the year such as a Yearly Planning Instrument (YPI), Macrocycles and services from LBSU’s Sports Training and Research program (STAR).
YPI is about planning workouts and visualizing the quantity, volume and intensity of the workouts throughout the season. Macrocycles are also training plans that are broken down into 11 one-month long parts.
STAR is made up of student-interns with majors in different areas of kinesiology including sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and biomechanics. They can design personalized weight training workouts for every athlete, educate them on healthy eating habits and get them mentally prepared for races.
Chacon believes the team is very lucky and blessed to have a boathouse, a large fleet of well-kept boats, professional staff and support from the school and alumni.
“They have all the tools to be successful and no excuse to not get results,” he noted. “I wont let them forget that! There is no reason CSULB cannot be as two other well supported club teams that are competitive that I am familiar with (Grand Valley State University and University of Michigan). In case you don’ t know, those are the teams we are [going to] beat someday.”
Photos by Anthony Chacon