RSR Blog Series: Advice on College Rowing

A compilation of advice from RSR Alumnae currently rowing in college for high school athletes:

  • "If you want to row, make sure you evaluate using academic and athletic metrics when evaluating schools. Do you like the coach? the team? If you are injured would you still enjoy the school? Pick some place that will make you happy. Don't just pick a label. A school could be technically ranked higher, but it may not be the best place for you.  It's not what others think you need - it's what you think you need. I went with my gut instinct when I visited a school. If it's important to YOU then it is important to the decision making process. Don't disclaim something because someone else thinks it's trivial."
  • "Trust the reasons for why you do things and why things happen. If you are in a lineup, you deserve it. It's not trivial or a fluke. Trust the work. And believe in yourself that you can and will continue to do the work. Stop worrying and just work and it will come when it comes." 

  • "The erg is your friend. Don't be afraid of it. Before working with Coach Holly I was so afraid and now I just sit down and say "we're going to do this" and I do it. And be a good teammate. They will have your back when you think you can't, but you can. Then set a goal and do the work. You have to do the work. Especially the work that you don't want to do when you have bad days. Keep doing what you're doing - just keep training because hard work pays off. Do the pieces you don't want to do. The training will pay off - it did for me." 

  • "If you have an opportunity to do more erging or exercising it's not a punishment. It will help you in the long run if you do the extra work and put you ahead of everyone else. But you do have to think about the time commitment for rowing in college. Once you do it- it's great. You build the time management skills and rowing actually forces me to do my work in a timely manner."  

  • "Be sure you want to row - you have to truly love it. If you are already thinking "I hate this..." think about it some more. And then when you get to college, try to make some friends outside the team because you will need to decompress with some friends who aren't a part of the rowing team." 

  • "Don't cut yourself short. I didn't think I could handle the amount of work that is required in college rowing, but I can do it and I enjoy it a lot. But if you don't really like rowing then don't do it. It's a huge commitment. If you are on the fence just go for it- it's so much fun and a great experience. Also, don't limit your options of who you want to talk to. Do your research and start the conversations with coaches even if it doesn't work out. You create a relationship and just keep talking to people. You never know!"

  • "Focus, grind and find the sweet spot. If you decide you want to row in college, do not sell yourself short. I wish I had gone harder my senior year. I wish I had really gone after it. Because once you open the door to push even harder it's amazing! And remember, there are different programs for everybody. Do your research." 

  • "You can do it. I didn't have a lot of confidence in high school and never imagined I could do this. But I can and I am! I didn't really see it until the RSR 2K Clinic but am so thankful that I went and discovered that about myself!"