College Freshman Rower Help!!!

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
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Joined: October 16th, 2017, 6:25 pm

College Freshman Rower Help!!!

Post by thiccltwt » November 1st, 2017, 3:08 pm

This is my 4th year of rowing and my first year of rowing at a D1 school. Last year I rowed lightweight and won 3rd at youth nats in our ltwt 8. After matrix seat racing I was the fastest starboard. I intentionally chose a slow open weight program so I would make top boats.

For example, I raced in my club's 2v4 at Head of the Hooch last year. My high school 2v4 was faster than my college's 2v4 last year at the Hooch. I also raced in my club's 1v8. My club 1v8 was 15 seconds slower than my (last year) college's 1v8 but was also 15 seconds faster than my (last year) college's 2v8. My 4 was faster than theirs. My 8 was between their 1v and 2v. I am now in the very bottom boat of my college team. I'm in the 5v8 which last year was over a minute and a half slower than my boat last year.

When I was recruited (as a walk on) to this school, I was promised that they take size into consideration and even calculate weight based times. There has been none of that. I have been placed into the very last boat on the team because it is all erg based and I am the shortest and lightest on the team. They refuse to seat race me and I am tired of being in boats that have a general lack of effort, poor technique, and are slow. I want to approach my coach with the information from the Hooch last year, but I don't want her to think I am questioning her coaching abilities.

Also, my coaches do not believe in short interval workouts or doing any technique. Twice a week we do a 90' full pressure row. The rest of the time we do either 4x15' or 5x10' all at full pressure below 22 spm. My coaches also just informed me that we will be doing no more technique work the rest of the season because we can focus on our technique while rowing full pressure. And they are not going to tell you what you need to fix, you should just be able to feel it and tell.

I don't know what to do anymore. I love rowing but these coaches are making me hate it. I feel like I'll never get the chance to prove to them that I can move a boat and I'll be constantly be stuck in bottom boats. I was a better rower in high school and even though I train twice as much, I dont feel any faster. Does anyone have any advice?

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Joined: July 25th, 2017, 12:37 pm

Re: College Freshman Rower Help!!!

Post by strider » November 2nd, 2017, 3:40 am

The perils of D1.

Only at a small college with small teams are smaller athletes appreciated.

Unless you had a written contract, whatever you told the coach and thought you were promised, was only in your head.

I seat raced into a 2h4 at a small school.
Technique is now a distant 2nd to erg scores in importance. Watch top boats even in the Olympics and Worlds. Boats routinely miss 3-4 feet of water at the "catch", lack of anchoring causing massive stern check, and to avoid crabs from poor finish, they routinely yank down to their waist, completing the stroke washing out the last two feet. double splash. On an erg, there is no air stroke. In a boat, half a stroke has to have huge power. Thus technique oarsman who pull a full stroke actually powering a boat are not even given a chance.

Amusingly, a heavyweight at my college dreaded 4 races with the two of us stroking opposing boats. He knew my technique leading a boat made any group competitive. We split winning intervals. I too was a LWT. And he was the first to congratulate me to make the 2h4 competitive again. Though, end of season, and not enough long intervals, led me to not be able to get used to 2k pulling an extra 140 lbs, over a LWT 4+.

You are better off in a pair, double, or single scull. If you are fast, it will standout. You will likely beat those lower boats in a single. Scullers were famous back in 70s and 80s for crushing 8+'s in 500m intervals.

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Re: College Freshman Rower Help!!!

Post by lwtguy » November 3rd, 2017, 10:55 am

First of all, you're a freshman so you're already at the bottom of the totem pole. Nobody cares what you did in high school because college racing is vastly different. I've seen top high school guys come into college and fail miserably. And I've seen the exact opposite. You need to prove that you belong in that 1V. It's only the fall season. You'll have the whole winter to prove your worth. You won't find a single college that doesn't do a lot of long distance lower rate work. You need to either adapt to it or fall behind. No coach has the intention of having a slow V8 come spring time.

The best advice that was ever given to me was from my freshman year of high school. My coach (who is a Philly legend apparently) said "Bill, you're not that good so if you want to get in the boat you want, sit down, shut the $#%@ up and row."

It's a tough world and you need to be tougher. If the coaches only have you doing long distance work then you need to do more long distance work to get better at it. That's what I did when I was in college.
Bill, 23, 160-165 lbs.
PBs-- 500m 1:28.9-- 1K 3:08.9-- 2K 6:37.7-- 5K 17:27.6
6K 21:11.2-- 30' 8342m-- 10K 35:54-- 60' 16209m

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