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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
We’ve never done so well at HOTO. The fall season definitely finished on a high note.
By comparing times, this year’s course looks to be about 5sec faster than last year for the men (due to wind gusts at the finish last year). The 2016 and 2017 courses were probably equal for the women. Our MV8+(a) was 49sec faster than last year, and we didn’t have a (b) entry. Our WV8+(a) was 64sec faster, and WV8+(b) was 10sec faster. Race times are here.
Videos (thanks to Coach Ian for the finish videos, Coach Gio for spotting our crews with binoculars, and Coach Katelyn for catching the 8s returning to the dock while we filmed) we took from shore are posted below. Sorry about the shaking; much of this is at maximum camera zoom. On both a-boat videos, there’s a long line of boats before we show up (men at 5:30, women at 3:45). It offers a perspective on what racing at HOTO is like.