Men’s rowing is not a known sport in the NCAA, but is still just as important as all the other sports when it comes to recruitment! Let the people know how rowing works when it comes to the recruitment process since each sport is different from the next, especially when it comes to highlight tapes and what coaches are looking for. Tell people where they can be noticed and how they can be noticed. Explain the do’s and don’ts and give a bit of pizazz by adding why it is popular in some regions more than others. Explain the differences in leagues, camps, and showcases. *Also, have fun with the fact that the first article is about men’s recruitment when pertaining to rowing and the second article is about women’s recruitment when pertaining to rowing. Highlight the differences in what they are looking for. Are there even differences? Decide for yourself! Inform and get people to understand and be excited about the sport of rowing since it is only known in places with the bodies of water to withstand the sport. Locker Room Talk reached out to two head rowing coaches and this is the advice that they gave to high school student-athletes and their families
Q: What type of events do you recruit at?
A: We attend many of the major junior events in the US and internationally. We also track the results from those events we cannot attend.
Q: What really jumps out at you when reviewing a recruits highlight tape? What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruits highlight tape?
A: I do not require highlight tapes of my recruits. They can be useful, but often there are other, better ways for the athletes to share their ability in our sport. We like to see erg performance and a history of results from racing. If a recruit does put together a tape, I would encourage them not to make it too long. Include a few clips of 30″ or so, some SS rowing and some rowing at pace.
Q: What camps, leagues, showcases and teams would you recommend a recruit to attend to gain exposure to college rowing coaches?
A: I always encourage our prospects to take advantage of summer programs near them that include the opportunity to race. We track all of these summer programs and their results at summer events. Some athletes earn invitations to ID, Development and Junior Team camps. These are also great. They expose the athlete to a high level of coaching, training and racing.
Q: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
A: Be smart!!! Too often these days, younger athletes and recruits do not understand that social media is not “private.” Never write anything online or in email that you wouldn’t share directly with someone in a conversation. Whatever’s written, imagine that coaches and parents might read it and if it doesn’t feel right, DON’T WRITE IT!!! Overall, I would encourage athletes to limit their time with social media. There are so many better things to do in life! Make better use of your time and engage with your surroundings and with those around you.
Q: What advice do you have for high school or club coaches that are working with recruitable players? How can they make sure their athlete’s get in front of the right people?
A: A message from a coach about their athletes is great, and always appreciated, but if an athlete is serious about Princeton, we encourage them to engage in the process and develop a relationship with our staff. We love learning about prospects from coaches, but it is very important that an athlete doesn’t expect their coach to handle their recruiting communication moving forward.
Q: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
A: Strong work ethic.
Q: What advice can you offer a recruit?
A: Communicate! There are lots of talented prospects out there. Our goal is to get to know our recruits. We want prospects that are ready and willing to develop a relationship with our staff both in the recruiting process and as a member of the team should they earn a spot at Princeton.
What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
Effort. Body mechanics. We will change how 90% of our kids row when they come in, so show me that you are invested. Your body language shows that you care. We can fix most technical issues.
What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Show me just side video of you rowing. The video doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to show a race, just what you look like when you row. For coxswains, I like to hear race tape.
What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit? (Please explain)
Combination 2k, grades, enthusiasm, and compliance.
What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar? (Please explain)
Reach out to me directly.
What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the water?
Enthusiasm, effort, a positive attitude, and attentiveness. Be present. Take pride in what you do.
What is the best advice you can offer a recruit? (Please explain)
Be the driver of your own recruiting experience. Reach out to the places you are interested in, give as much information as possible, and don’t be shy about calling coaches. Again, I prioritize the student-athletes who are the “easiest to recruit”, meaning that I’m not pulling teeth to get them through the process.
How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media? (Please explain)
Huge, only if you’re irresponsible on social media. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a coach to see, because we do look. That includes Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We’ll check up on it.
* Originally published on August 7, 2018, by Jenae Alderson