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Swimming and Rowing - Same Year

CMart98CMart98 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited September 2013 in Athletic Recruits
Hello - I am new here, so please bear with me if this has been discussed before.

I am a male, entering sophomore year of high school, and have a few questions. Currently I swim (this will be my fifth year competitively) and am looking to do so in college, preferably DI.

Here are my goal times for this year (I am primarily a sprinter):
50 free - 22.79
100 free - 48.69
200 free - 1:48.69
200 IM - 2:06.79

My first question is 1). will I be able to swim DI (not with these times, but as I develop) and 2). will I be able to do another sport: rowing.

I am athletic (having played almost every sport under the sun), and my Dad rowed in college. He even earned a silver medal at Nationals in the 90's. I earned straight A's in every quarterly and final grade in all of my classes (all honors) this past year, so I don't think grades will be an issue.

I practically know nothing about rowing, and have only been on an ergometer three times. My three times (all from this past week) were 8:48, 7:44, and 7:23. However, I've heard many collegiate rowers didn't even pick up an oar before they reach college. My Dad was one of them. (Just as an FYI, crew isn't offered at my school, let alone any school in the state).

Do you think I could do it? Swimming in fall/winter and crew in the spring? I have a very driven work ethic in everything I do and am looking forward to any new challenges I have to face.

(P.S. - I don't want to row because my Dad is pushing me to do it; my parents aren't like that. They'll support me in everything I do, but I want to do it because it's a challenge and seems fun).
Post edited by CMart98 on

Replies to: Swimming and Rowing - Same Year

  • swimmer24swimmer24 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    If you want to go D1 doing 2 sport will be very difficult. It is much easier to do at the D3 level, but even then it still can be difficult. I do not know anything about rowing, but I am quite knowledgeable about swimming. As of now your times or goals times put you on the very low end of D1 swimming. Yes there are D1 schools out there, but if you are looking for scholarships these lower-end programs usually have minimal amounts of money to no money. Check out collegeswimming.com where you can find a lot of information about college swim teams. Since you're going to be a sophomore you still have a lot of time to improve and grow. I would start email coaches at the end of your sophomore summer heading into you're junior year. Junior year is really when swimming recruiting picks up, ESPECIALLY the summer after your junior year. Coaches can begin calling perspective recruits on July 1st after their junior year. For now try and find the type of schools you like. For example, do you want a big school or a small school, what type of academic environment do you want, how selective of a school, is there a certain type of location you want (city, suburbs, rural), liberal arts or technical school. These are only some of the questions you should figure out. Also think about possible majors.
  • LivesinHobbitonLivesinHobbiton Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    CMart, welcome! There are a ton of rowers and rowing parents on this board. I'm sure they'll jump in.

    My s is a swimmer and rower...main sport is swimming and has rowed freshman and sophomore year with a private club. It's a grueling life. I have asked this question before and others have said in general that for college, you can do more than one sport if you are d3. With d1 it's probably not possible. The swimmers swim year-round, the rowers train year-round. I don't think the coaches would like the divided loyalties. IMO.

    Some d3 schools have terrific swimming AND rowing, though! Williams comes to mind. You could conceivably do both and have an amazing experience. My d is off to Bowdoin College (tomorrow!) and while rowing is a club sport at Bowdoin, they regularly row at Head of the Charles and medal. The men went to the Henley Regatta in England in June. They are very good! My d will be swimming, but she is either going to do track or row in the spring.

    It's all in what kind of experience you want. If you want to row at Nationals for a top d1 program, I think swimming may be tough to continue. Your swim times look great for a sophomore so think carefully before you give that up!
  • swim4schoolswim4school Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member

    D1 swimming is extremely time consuming. There are swim practices, weight training, dry land, optional practices, travel to meets, actual swim meets, invitational 3-4 day meets and conference championships. Add to that a full academic course load, and school requirements to attend dinner and required study hours that you must be present for....and there's not much time left in a day. If you are a member of the swim team of a D1 school, they pretty much own you 9-12 months a year. Some D1 schools require that the swimmer stay on campus during the summer as well. After conference championships, there is typically a 2 week break, and then practice begins again to prepare for summer Nationals. That 2 week break assumes you do not qualify for NCAAs. I find it very difficult that you could tack on another sport and still stay in school academically.
  • CMart98CMart98 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thank you everyone, very helpful all of you.

    Since the feedback seems to be leaning towards swimming only, what are the requirements and daily life of a DI swimmer (daily timeline, maybe)?

    Thank you for being immensely helpful, once again.
  • swim4schoolswim4school Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    Here is a representative D1 timeline for a competitive D1 program:

    6-8am M-Sat Swim
    9am to 2pm classes and meals
    3pm to 5pm swim M-Fri
    6pm Dinner
    7pm on--study--usually trying to finalize mandatory study hours usually around 10 hours per week and/or classes you couldn't fit in during the day
    11pm to 12mn--lights out

    Weightlifting 3 times per week
    Dryland 2 times per week

    ****some of these practices are optional, because of NCAA limitations *** However, those who do not attend optional practices do not typically travel with a team or go to conference meets.

    Other notes:
    1) most D1 programs do not encourage science majors (labs are hard to fit in to your schedule) or engineering. If academics are really important to you, you should ask a lot of questions of coaches/student athletes on this topic. Most who do major in lab sciences take their science courses during the summer. Check out the roster of schools you are interested in and see what the majors are.
    2) When evaluating the schools look at drop out rates for swimmers, often you'll see teams loaded with freshmen and sophomores, and not many upperclassmen on the rosters. This can be due to injuries, classload/coursework demands, and burn out.
  • CMart98CMart98 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks, swim4school!

    This may sound like a silly question, but are majors such as Athletic Training and Exercise Science considered lab sciences? I've noticed many swimmers (or athletes) in college seem to gravitate towards majors like these. This is something I might want to pursue.
  • swim4schoolswim4school Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    The other major you will see a lot is Kinesiology too. These are not considered lab science majors per se. You may have to take lab sciences like Biology 101, but you will not take the pre-med track of lab sciences including advanced biology, organic chemistry and physics. Highly doable.

    Of note, these majors at some schools are considered "light or fluffy" majors, and most who take them end up as personal trainers, and young assistant swim coaches. This is not a knock against the major, but something you should know when making a decision.
  • LivesinHobbitonLivesinHobbiton Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    agree with swim4school about the majors and the d1 time commitment. my kids were once on a large swim team where the top swimmers routinely went on to d1 swim programs with scholarship money. i am trying to think of even a single one who majored in science or was pre-med. the only one i can think of is said to be quitting the sport because of stress and academics...she has multiple olympic trial cuts and a couple of national age group records. It's a big deal for her to give up the sport.

    one friend started out in criminal justice, switched into kinesiology because she was having a hard time, then quit swimming entirely and then switched colleges. The swimming life is just that stressful; many athletes do it successfully and my hat is off to them, you have to be a seriously organized and focused individual to make it work at the d1 level.
  • hoosiermomhoosiermom Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    Success in difficult majors really depends on the determination and desire of the athlete. A local swimmer went on to excel in the swimming program at Notre Dame while double majoring in biology/ anthropology and went on to med school.
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited August 2013
    My kids high school had a sports in college night for students and parents. One of the most memorable moments was when someone asked about playing multiple sports in college. One of the panel members worked in the athletic department of a D1 school ... his response was that in a typical year across 20 teams or so there would typical be 1-2 multiple sport athletes (not counting folks like cross country and track folks). When he made the comment another panel member visible reacted ... he is soccer coach as a D3 school and said they typically had 5-6 multi sport kids each year on that one team ... and that some were D1 soccer talents but chose D3 to play two sports.

    PS - about 1% of high school athletes in a sport end up playing D1 ... being a D1 talent is quick a trick ... being a D1 talent in two sports is pretty remarkable.
  • SakartveloSakartvelo Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I would suggest just sticking to one sport or the other. If you do two, you will be worse at both than if you just did one. And it looks like you are decent at swimming, so starting rowing now would not be beneficial for you. First of all it's a late start- most people start the beginning of Freshman year. Second of all, you likely won't be able to use rowing to get into college as much as you will be able to use swimming, because you likely will not develop onto a collegiate rowing level in just 1-2 years time.
  • CulverdadCulverdad Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Rowing parent here. One thing to consider is club rowing or recreational rowing if varsity rowing proves to be incompatible. I rowed in high school and college. It was great! Swimmers have the VO2 max and other traits that make them strong rowers.
This discussion has been closed.