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November 9, 2016

Rowing Recruitment | Guide to Contacting College Coaches

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Recruitment for rowing is different than many other sports because it is hard to isolate the contributions of a particular rower or coxswain to the success of a team. If you are serious about rowing and are looking to be recruited for the sport, you have to be your own advocate.

The first step is to talk to your current coach- who might be able to help you outline your potential in the sport and identify schools that align with your talents both athletically and academically.

Once you have identified the programs that interest you, do not wait for schools to contact you. Let coaches know that you are interested at the beginning of your junior year. Most program’s websites will have links to follow for potential recruits in order to establish contact with the coaching staff. At this point in the process you can call coaches and talk to you, but they cannot call you. When reaching out to a coach directly, it is important to remember that the primary point of contact for most Division I rowing teams is the assistant coach, but for other divisions it is the main coach.

In the winter or spring, you should e-mail the coach to update them on your erg scores and race results. Vital information that should go into an e-mail or attached to an e-mail as a separate rowing resume are: erg scores (as many as possible), academic statistics, competition history and results, camp or program history, as well as your height and weight. An example of such a resume is shown below:

At this time, you should ask your current coach if they would contact a few of your top choices and be a reference for you.

When your senior year begins, you should narrow down your list of top school choices. Contact coaches to let them know where they stand on your list. Don’t be afraid to ask them where you stand on their list too.

Check out our tips to get recruited for rowing here.

Plan to apply “early action”. If you might require the coach’s assistance in the application process, coaches tend to have more pull with early action candidates, in terms of admissions. Only make a verbal commitment to a coach when you are entirely set on your decision. Coaches rely on these commitments to build their rosters.