Competing at the college level can be daunting, but a little preparation goes a long way. Lucky for recruits, you can take steps now to ensure your success down the road. If you’re looking to row in college, here are five tips that can get you ready for the next level:
Be Coachable and Understanding
While you may have been the superstar on your high school or club team, odds are, so was everyone else you’re about to meet on your new college team. Respect your coaches, respect your teammates and respect the process. Not many freshmen end up in the 1V8+ right away, and that’s perfectly fine. Be patient and enjoy the learning process of realizing what it takes to become a successful collegiate rower and a mature adult.
Related: The 4 Pillars Of a Recruitable Athlete
Be Ready for Plenty of Cardio
With 20+ hours of practice a week, be ready for different forms of training. Rowing, erging, running, biking, stadiums, weight circuits and swimming are some of the many activities you will participate in as a rowing student-athlete. Coaches can get creative, so keep an open mind and know that every hour of cardio you complete makes you better.
Realize that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Being on a team in college is about representing not only yourself, but your college in the best way you can. Whether you realize it or not, people are watching and taking note of your character and your habits. Be reliable academically, be trustworthy as a teammate, and be responsible as a young adult. College will be some of the best years of your life, but be smart and keep in mind the opportunity that you’ve been given.
Don’t Expect Football-Caliber Facilities
Your team might not get all of the fancy amenities and luxuries that the football and basketball teams get. So what? Being able to participate on an NCAA team as a student-athlete is a privilege, not a right, especially if you have a scholarship. Unfortunately, women’s rowing serves as a large team sport with many expenses and no revenue generation, most schools will carry their rowing team as a number-balancing sport for Title IX purposes. Thus, athletic departments oftentimes can’t validate excessive additional spending for their crew team. It sucks, but managing your expectations can help prepare you for this reality.
Related: Not All Sports Are Created Equal: The Truth Behind Women’s College Rowing and How it Saves Football
Get Enough Sleep (and Make Sure Your Alarm Is On)
Sleeping is a beautiful thing. Everyone loves it. Elite athletes need at least 9 hours of sleep a night. But don’t be that guy that sleeps through their alarm, misses their ride to the boathouse and holds up the entire practice. You don’t want to be that guy. Take brief naps when you can and go to bed at a decent hour. Nothing good happens after 10pm on weeknights anyway. Practice good sleep hygiene now–your college self will thank you.
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* Originally published on February 28, 2023, by Chandler Frumin