Swim Test #1 Admin

This year the test is at Northside Pool.  The bad news is that each athlete will have to pay $20 for a Norfolk fitness centers ID.  The great news is that the ID is valid for an entire year, giving you access to the various Norfolk gyms, pools, etc.  I’m glad you’ll have it; I just wish we didn’t have to make you get it.

The rules have not changed.  Please study them so you are ready, and follow the below amplifying directions:

  • Location is Northside Pool at 8401 Tidewater Drive.
  • As per the practice schedule, the day is Thursday.
  • There is no study hall, and no team transportation to the pool.  Please do your best to be there.
  • We ask that you try to arrive by 1515 to start getting your Norfolk IDs.  If you have one, 1540 is fine.  You can arrive as late as 1730 and still swim.
  • Actual swimming is from 1600 to 1800. Taking the test is quick (30min, including changing twice).  You could leave early if you need to (and give us prior notice).
  • Make sure you have the clothing called for by the rules, plus a towel and spare set of PT clothes to wear after testing.  Hint:  long socks don’t come off while swimming.
  • All paperwork that the booster club has mandated must be on file before you swim.
  • After swimming, we stay at the pool facility and complete other business.  Pickup will be in the parking lot outside at 1800.
  • Even if you aren’t swimming, come to practice.
  • There are two other swim tests on the calendar.  Don’t worry about this go-round.  It’s fine if you can’t swim well yet.  We’ll help you improve and pass the test.

Granby Crew is recruiting

Looking for a sport for the fall, winter, and/or spring season(s)? Consider rowing. No prior experience is needed.  There are no try-outs.  There are no cuts.  If you’ve got the drive and enthusiasm to keep up with us, we’ll help you become a competitive athlete.  If you practice with us, you’ll race with us. We have a full year’s training planned (calendar is here).

Need convincing? Look at how well the new athletes did last year (posted below). Perhaps some past highlights will motivate you. Want more info? Start your reading here. There’s lots more info here. Want to ask questions? Come see us at freshmen orientation. If you’re worried this is a water sport, don’t be.

Want to improve your endurance? We do plenty of that. Want to lift? We do that too. Want to win races? We’ve done that at the Regional and State level. Want to learn while you train? Scroll down the posts below as far as 13Mar2020 to appreciate our emphasis on teaching and learning. Want a college athletic scholarship? Women have a better shot than almost all other sports; sorry men, it’s very rare for you.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are priorities for our team. I think we do an ok job on the last two, but we’ve never been as diverse as our school. It’s a failure I’d like to correct; thus, we’ll keep working on DEI. I’m not sure this addition will help recruiting, but it’s still worth saying.

Novices take two silver medals at VSRC1

Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships is always a tough place to medal, and our novices met that challenge once again; very impressive (especially for the women, since three of their athletes only tried crew for the first time in February).  For those unfamiliar with rowing filmed from this angle, the action gets exciting around 3:30.  Of course if you’re in the boat, it’s exciting the whole 6-7min.

They looked good in heats too.  Hopefully this performance helps us recruit a big group of novices for next year.  We want many more student athletes to have this opportunity.


Team priority #2 is safesport (#1 is safety).  The video below enables that priority.  Safesport is about treating each other with respect and kindness.  And how we interact often starts with how we speak.  It’s worth taking some notes, and really thinking about the points being made, because this isn’t just about safesport.  Quality speech is a key skill for coxswains, captains, teammates, etc.  Want to do well in future job interviews?  Speech is vital.  Enjoy talking with friends?  Improve the conversations you have.  Oh… one more thing… notice how the video ends with speaking AND listening.  If you want people to listen to you, start by listening to them.  That’s safesport too.


Sitting is bad for you.  Do less sitting.  Can you stand while in class, or while doing homework?  Maybe you’ll discover that’s better for your learning… and your health.

Why we train so much

Our training calendar is intended to build readiness for racing.  Speed/skill in our sport demands many, many hours.  Believe it or not, the fastest crews invest even more time.  You can extra work, as long as it’s green/blue.  Build your cardio base, train healthy movement patterns, and strengthen key muscles.  For motivation, consider the following:

Practice and learn the little things now

The video below states:  “once a skill becomes automatic, thinking about its precise mechanics interferes with your ability to do it”.  Rowing well comes from being a good rower.  Being a good rower starts with being a good athlete.  Being a good athlete comes from the work done to get there.  That work includes learning ‘the little things’ correctly so they become automatically correct.  Right now we can be putting in so many quality reps to create good athletic and/or rowing skill.  Then when the pressure is on, you have all the nuanced work done and you can use external focus on the ultimate goal… boat speed.  I am not endorsing the Audible advertisement, but I do highly endorse The Boys in the Boat.  It’s a wonderful read.

Quality Practice

To sustain our daily workload, we need strong mental focus.  Watch the video below, then come back here to finish reading.  Did you catch this quote: “mastery isn’t simply about the amount of practice.  It’s also the quality and effectiveness of that practice”?  Was your run today the kind of quality practice that would truly make you better?  This TED-Ed video, just like the ones on running form, is incredibly information-dense.  I’ve watched it a bunch of times, finding improved understanding each viewing.  How many times did you watch today’s running video?  Once is enough for today, but not enough for your lifetime as a good runner.  This practice video will come up multiple times.  Maybe watch it again.

Training Opportunity

Athletes, we have the chance to follow a much better athletic training regime, one that gets closer to the plans being used by the best endurance athletes in the world.  For now, we need to start with the most important part… with WHY.  Watch the video below.  Consider reasons why your past training is flawed based on this research.  Consider why your typical school day is not ideal to optimal training.