The GTS Perspective
Every athlete is unique. They have unique bodies, unique histories, unique strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and unique time committments. It is naive to think that plugging a bunch of athletes into a single training program can produce maximum results across all participants. But nonetheless, rowing requires this whenever a crew steps into it's shell for a session. Unfortunately, the sport's professional ranks do not easily differentiate between those times and the times outside the boat when athletes are in a position to follow a unique, personalized program. This coaching "blind spot" results in unrealized potential at best, injury and burnout at worst.
Even for athletes whose experience is isolated to the indoor rower, professional expertise is still drawn from the ranks of on-the-water veterans. That perspective brings strengths as well as weaknesses. GTS CEO and Coach Travis Gardner's background in distance running provided just enough stimulus in his early rowing career to raise questions about the dominant paradigms in rowing training. Those questions led to extensive research, and that research led to innovative techniques that form the back bone of the training methodology GTS uses today. With a degree in Psychology focused on Applied Behavior Analysis, Travis is able to integrate his methodology with highly effective technical instruction to consistently lead his athletes to superior performance, regardless of their age, gender, or skill level.
On-the-water rowing coaches suffer from an additional "blind spot," the 2000 meter race. All mainstream training methodologies are derived from the goal of training for this distance. This is great if you are a youth, collegiate, pre-elite or elite rower, but for those that aren't involved with on-the-water rowing or aren't a part of the mainstream competitive scene, 2000 meters holds no particular importance. Even Master rowers that regularly compete over 1000 meters will find themselves training with the same priciples of the 2000 meter race. Well, 800 meter track runners don't train the same way as 1600 meter runners. And 5000 meter speed skaters don't train the same as 10000 meter skaters. If you aren't training to race 2000 meters you shouldn't use a training programme, even a watered down version of one, that is designed for that distance. Training must accomodate the specific goals of each athlete, whether that is non-competitive recreational rowing, short sprints, traditional middle distances, head races or long tours.
GTS has the perspectice and experience to develop training programs focused on YOUR goals, no matter what they are. Become a client and you can be confident your time, energy, and money will be invested wisely. We do not claim to perform miracles, only an ability to tap into potential others cannot.
- National Championships: 6
- Technical Development, Training Methodology, Psychology
- Experience: 20 years
Leadership by example.
With an athletic career defined by leadership and excellence in competition, Travis can speak with authority on both the process of attaining peak performance and the challenges of that ongoing journey.
Combining the perspective of distance runner and rower, Travis developed a training system that emphasizes the value of training individuals within the CONTEXT of a team, rather than sacrifice of the individual for the benefit of the team. That system is at the heart of the GTS methodology.
High School Distance Runner
1997 Most Improved, 1998 Most Valuable, 9 #1 Team Finishes, 12th All-Time Cross Country Runner, 4x800m School Record Holder.
Novice Team Captain, 2-Time State Champion, 2xVarsity Team Captain.
3-Time Club National Champion (2002 Lightweight Intermediate and Senior Quadruple Sculls, 2004 Lightweight Senior Double Sculls), Gold Medalist - 2002 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Senior B Lightweight Quadruple Sculls.
Consistent Results at the Highest Level.
Many coaches are graced with an exceptional athlete and have the pleasure to help guide that athlete to success at the highest levels of their sport. The mark of a great coach is their ability to sustain high performance standards across several generations of athletes.
Travis's teams have excelled throughout his tenure, with dozens of podium finishes at every youth championship over the course of a decade and counting. Those crews are defined by a work ethic engrained by effective leadership and nutured to its natural end by superior coaching.
3-Time Club National Champion Coach
2011 Women's Junior A Pair, 2012 Women's Junior B Double Scull, 2014 Men's Intermediate Single Scull.
Undefeated Middle School Record
As coach of Methuen's scholastic team, Travis' middle school girls were undefeated in team boats throughout his four year tenure there.
Superior Reputation Among College Coaches
Travis is widely respected in the college coaching ranks for producing athletes characterized by exceptional technical skills, a solid aerobic foundation, and a keen understanding of training methodology. At least five have been named captains of their Division 1 program.
Veteran masters coach experienced with all skill levels and ages up to 70+.
Founder, President, Executive Officer, Senior Coach
Travis founded Essex Rowing Club in 2006 which grew from 36 athletes in its first-season to an enrollment of 264 at its peak. In his role as President and Executive Officer Travis managed all aspects of corporate operations including budgeting, hiring, marketing, communications, planning, capital fundraising and equipment acquisition. He also coordinated all aspects of day to day programming while coaching 1-3 sessions a day, 5-7 days per week.
Travis was also hired as the first, full time coach at Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program. That program grew to over 50 athletes within three months and later evolved into Greater Lawrence Rowing. While at Essex, Travis led initiatives to start scholastic programs at Andover High School, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Chelmsford High School, and Methuen High School, the first of which won the state championship in it's first season and the last of which was the only team at that school to send an athlete to college on scholarship EVERY year.
$4 Million in Revenue Generated
Developed and oversaw programming that introduced over 2000 athletes to the sport in 12 years and generated over $4 million in revenue.
Founder and Regatta Director for the Head of the Merrimack, Merrimack Chase, and Methuen City Sprints Regatta(s). Veteran manager responsible for all aspects of planning and execution for over 20 annual regattas.
Human Resource Management
Responsible for the hiring and oversight of over 40 employees across 12 years.
Capital Asset Acquisition and Rotation
Developed and maintained professional relationships with vendors resulting in the purchase of over $1.7 million in capital assets and directed regular equipment rotation and sale of capital assets amounting to over $400,000.
Wrote and/or edited dozens of press releases that have been published by every regional and local news outlet.
I had aspirations of elite racing and I decided Travis was the coach best equipped to get me there while keeping my day job. Fast forward a year later, Travis coaches me to USRowing Club Nationals gold. Over the years Travis engrained a handful of key concepts he was quick to recognize were missing from my training. I remain eternally grateful for Travis’ guidance over the years as coach and friend.
Michael Poreba Five-time Club National Champion
To put it quite simply - there is no better coach than Travis Gardner. His passion for rowing is unmatched, but his most valuable gift is the ability to teach athletes how to think for themselves. His program was a true meritocracy, and under his leadership, I found the most successful version of myself. Travis went above and beyond to provide rowers with the best equipment, technology, and coaching. He led me to the national podium and a Division 1 collegiate rowing career. Both on and off the water, Travis has been one of the most influential people in my life. It was a privilege to row for him.
Brooke WarshafskyD1 recruit to George Washington University, Club Nationals Silver Medalist - Intermediate Quadruple Sculls
I was a varsity athlete at college and to this day Travis was the best sports coach I've ever had in my life. I think a lot of people have a lot to learn from him, especially about healthy ways to coach and respectfully work with young women.
Laura CengD1 recruit to Stanford University
In terms of rowing program development and administration, Travis is the complete package. He brings high energy, demonstrated expertise, and a record of success in all of the important functional areas and at each stage of organization life cycle.
Chris MaiettaFounder, Chairman, Director Emeritus, and Past-President at Wayland-Weston Rowing Association
I attribute all the success I had rowing back to you, Travis. Regardless of the path I took, it all started with the foundation you gave me and the time you invested in me.
Zoë ZimmermanD1 recruit to Cornell University
Travis is an expert in all aspects of rowing and athletics. His valuable coaching insights led me to achieve my goal of rowing for a Division 1 Program. In addition to receiving an elite training plan, Travis has taught me countless lessons regarding the importance of work ethic and passion for the sport itself. I cannot thank Travis enough for his expertise, passion, and dedication to his athletes.
Grace DonabedianD1 recruit to Georgetown University, Club Nationals Silver Medalist - Intermediate Quadruple Sculls
Travis communicates in a direct, actionable way that resonates with his athletes and empowers them to take charge of their progress. The leadership, communication, and decision-making skills I developed as a coxswain in Travis’ crew have stayed with me into my professional career.
Caroline QuinnD1 recruit to the University of Indiana
GTS services span a range of mediums to help you elevate your performance
Whether you are seeking professional expertise to give direction to your training, to advance your boat skills in a highly focused small group environment,
or to troubleshoot daily challenges with access to proven, professional experience and insights, GTS has the option for you.