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The huddle

May 14, 2017

Rowing: The 24/7 Sport

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My journey with rowing was a little out of the ordinary. I was initially recruited to play collegiate water polo before quickly deciding that water polo was not for me anymore. I had been playing for seven years, but one day I realized that I couldn’t see myself continuing with the sport long term. I have never thought of myself as being a quitter, so I figured I was going to have to stick to water polo for at least the first year. However, one afternoon I was a walking to class and a tall, extremely athletic girl walked up to me and said, “Have you ever considered trying out for the rowing team?” I politely responded, “Actually I am on the water polo team here.” What she said next stuck in my mind. She said, “Oh that stinks for us, good luck” and she quickly went on her way. Within the week I had quit water polo and joined the rowing team. Collegiate rowing is the only DI sport that lets you start in college with no prior experience. Now, four years later, I have never been happier with my decision.

Rowing is a sport that takes a lot of work. It is important to consistently practice the basics and keep conditioning at a high level. My advice to high school recruits would be to do conditioning or cross-training every day. Rowing is hard on the body, and to escape injury, your body needs to be in tip-top shape as far as strength of the secondary muscles and flexibility is concerned. Make sure you do mobility circuits before and after training sessions and weight train three times a week. The more time you spend rowing and being consistent throughout the summer, the less time you waste trying to get back in shape. An important piece of information would be to recover from each session. You will need to stretch after your workouts and rowing to get rid of the lactic acid build up. You should do static stretching; foam roll and take an ice bath. All of these things will help your body to recover and help you to be a better athlete.


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