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College Recruitment for Men's Heavyweight Rowing

SakartveloSakartvelo Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited September 2013 in Athletic Recruits
Hello, I'm currently a higschool junior. I plan to row heavyweight in college, and I currently weigh about 165-170 Ibs (dropping down to lightweight would not be healthy for me). I currently have a 6:45-6:50 2K, however, I expect to have it sub 6:45 for Crash B's and hopefully in the 6:35 range for the end of the Spring season. All of the schools which I am looking to apply to are D1 Schools, such as Columbia, UPenn, Princeton, Georgetown, Stanford. I currently have a 2100 SAT but plan to raise it to above 2200 this year, and I am taking 11 APs throughout the course of high school, and have a UW GPA of about 3.8. I am also actively involved in several extra-curricular clubs.

What sort of 2K time (or 4k or 6k) time would I need to get into one of these rowing programs, given my current position?
Post edited by Sakartvelo on

Replies to: College Recruitment for Men's Heavyweight Rowing

  • ian123ian123 Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    For D1s like Princeton, Columbia, Penn, et al., I've heard low 6:20s by the end of Junior year/very beginning of Senior year. I think you could probably get there. Your academics are great for any of these schools, though.
  • mhmmmhmm Registered User Posts: 1,192 Senior Member
    At some of these schools you are an easy light weight already. You should check the stats
  • 4kidsinarow4kidsinarow Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    From our experience, it is a combination of factors that the college coaches look at.
    1. Erg Scores--of course the lower the better, but sub 6:30 is probably the cutoff by the beginning of Sr year for any consideration. Sub 6:20 will get a lot of attention.
    2. Academics--You have have chosen some extremely competitive schools. Of course the higher the better. GPA and course rigor --which appear to strong in your case-- can offset to some degree the higher erg scores. SAT/ACT should be in line with school averages (yours seem great).
    3. Rowing resume--The coaches will look at HS/Club success, your position in the boat etc. In other words, if you are on "not so good team", the erg score will likely need to be stronger. It is a definite plus to have made usrowing development/high performance camps/teams. So if possible go to the ID camps this coming spring.
    4. Size/body type/future potential-- A 6-5 lanky kid with long arms is looked at more favorably than a shorter stocky kid in terms of future ability to move a boat. All coaches love to find that "diamond in the rough" and shape it into something special.
    5. Fit with the team-- they want to make sure that individuals that they bring in are a fit with existing team members and coaches. If the coach does not like you, it really doesn't matter what your resume says. Unofficial visits are a great place to start. I would suggest trying to get to a least a few of your schools over the winter time. And introduce yourself via email, to the recruiting coaches this fall and express interest in their school.
    6. Recommendations--HS/Club/Elite team coaches recommendations are very important in terms of assessing work ethic, "coachability", understanding of the technical aspects of rowing and leadership potential.

    All that being said....for the most competitive programs, the more of the above that you have check +'s, the higher the likelihood of success. Hope this helps, PM me if you would like to have a more in depth discussion.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    4kids: Spot on advice.
  • RowmomRowmom Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    4 kids: Yes it is definitely a combination.
    We've found that transcript trumps test scores (once they hit a certain level, say 2000).
    Erg score, esp. 2K important, but depends on 'where' you row. Cold places where it is not possible to row on the water year-round - better erg required. Also length of time in sport: 4 years lower score required - 1-2 years more lenient but should be at that cutoff (6:30 for HW, 6:40 for LW)
    Potential is huge. Every coach remarked on DS frame and bodybuild as perfect.

    From summer visits we felt that there was a definite assessment of 'fit'. Does this kid act like he belongs on this team, at this school? Can you carry on an intelligent conversation? Have you researched/followed their program? Do you have an academic plan? Would you be a good representative of the school and team?
    Every coach wants a superior athlete, but they also want a respectable team. I think this is a nice-to-have for big D-1s, but a must-have for Ivies.
  • RowmomRowmom Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Also if you have successful 'big race' experience with a known team it helps. Canadian Henley, Club Nationals, Youth Nationals, some of the Regional Championships. If you don't have that where you live, you can find a club and train and race with them in the summer. I don't mean 4 day college learn-to-rows. I mean competitive team training. You do not have to be selected for the development camps or HP, while that would be nice.
  • 4kidsinarow4kidsinarow Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    One more suggestion-- All "Helicopter Parents" may not agree with this one...

    Do the work yourself-- Keep your parents fully informed, but you should write the emails, fill out the forms, keep the coaches updated and keep track of the programs you want to look into. If your parents do the work, I think the coaches know it, and it probably "turns them off" to some degree. After all you parents, probably cant move a boat as well as you can :)
  • SakartveloSakartvelo Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Hey, thanks for the advice 4kidsonarow. I have a question, should I start contacting coaches now, or when I achieve the times with which I will be applying (Around Crash-Bs). I feel like if I contact them now in the fall with just a sub 6:50 2k then they wouldn't really care, but if I contacted them once I already had a sub 6:40 2k then they would be more interested. What do you think? Should I contact them in the fall even if my time isn't fast enough yet? Also, should I talk to them about my academics as well or only my rowing? Thanks!
  • mhmmmhmm Registered User Posts: 1,192 Senior Member
    I would strongly disagree with post #8. Enough of the dumping on "helicopter parents". That's just not nice, first of all, and second of all, who is to say what makes a helicopter parent in a particular family at a particular time.

    But I disagree not because of "playing nice". I disagree because from my limited (one kid rowing) experience I have seen the coaches at so many ivy's be completely scattered. They juggle recruitment, their current team, travel schedules etc. They don't have secretaries keep track of things. They must do it themselves. Some coaches are extremely disciplined and some not. While I agree that a senior should be filling out his own applications and queery forms, and sending out thank you notes, a parent should keep their finger in the pie and act as a catch-all. Coaches actually dont care who communicates with them as long as the "what" is communicated about is what they want for next year.
  • 4kidsinarow4kidsinarow Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    mhmm--I think that there is more than one to approach this, I am sure that the organizational skills that you bring to the table are very helpful. My thought is, that at some point your kid will be on his/ her own. I guess each parent is the best judge of their kid's readiness for the responsibility to deal with the real world. I do recognize there is a lot at stake and some parents (rightfully so) are not ready to put all that burden on 17/18 year old... and some 17/18 year olds are not ready to take it on.

    Sakartvelo--I would suggest getting your rowing resume together, erg history, race result history, including seating, height, weight, etc. and begin to send out emails to coaches towards the end of the fall season. Perhaps after HOCR or your local signature regatta. Cast a wide net (meaning more than you 5 'dream' schools). Also, please note, your erg times will likely be improving over the next several months. Each PR is a good excuse to update the coaches. Many schools/clubs stop doing 2Ks when the racing season starts in the spring, but that is when you can being updating with race results, seat changes, etc. Communication is key.
  • 4kidsinarow4kidsinarow Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    A couple more thoughts, even if your erg score is a little high at the end of the fall season (2k and 6k) you can include in your communications what your goals are for winter training.
    Definately give them your academic profile as well--it will definately shed a "net positive" on your status.
    Lastly, be ready for a wide array of responses-- personal letters, no response, canned responses... even if they dont respond (to mhmm's point--coaches can be disorganized) keep sending updates.

    Wishing you the best of luck in your pursuits. PM me if you would like.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    While it is important for a parent to be in the know of the recruitment process every step of the way, I strongly believe that a coach wants to communicate primarily and directly with the athlete, not his or her parents. They are recruiting the young lady/man, not his or her parent. They care about the communicator, not just what is being communicated.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    I agree that it's best for parents to stay out of the loop as much as possible, though I also think the dig at helicopter parents was both unfair and unkind. Many of us know as much as we do because we're "kept in the loop" not because we're impersonating our kids or doing their communicating for them.

    Personally, I've checked over emails when my kid asks me to, discussed with him what he what he wants to say to a coach when it's something sticky; filled out financial aid pre-reads and sent those in; driven ds to unofficial visits; discussed the pros and cons of schools, trying to listen more talk; and nagged him about deadlines/responses when I thought he needed it (he'd probably disagree about how often that was needed...). So active but firmly in the background, which seems to me the best approach in general with 17/18 year olds, who are still a bit scattered but will be gone and on their own before we know it.

    OTOH, my kid may be a bit extreme about his independence; for example, he doesn't want me to meet coaches, even when I'm on campus when he is--says he doesn't want to waste time on adult small talk! That said, the coaches at one school were surprised when I didn't come to lunch (another kid and parent were there) and asked him to ask me to stop by the boathouse to say hi. So parents could probably be a bit more involved than I've been. :)
  • RowmomRowmom Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Classicalmama - you sound like me.
    I read on CC somewhere that coaches are aware that they are recruiting a family, not just a kid. If your kid is in this pool it's usually because there has been a lot of parental involvement along the way, and it's unlikely those parents will suddenly drop off the map - although age and distance will make parental involvement decrease, as it should.

    I have been involved in all aspects of my kids recruiting. I feel I have acted as a mentor - discussing emails, the approach to coaches, options, being realistic. For DS it has been like searching for that first job, and everyone can use some advice for that. Still, at the UOVs DS had to carry/present himself 100% independently, as he will at the OVs. I think he is better prepared and ready to have these final negotiations because I have been involved. I think this involvement is our job as parents. The stakes are high; we will be paying; the kid will learn a ton through the process either way. Why not assist so it is a success?

    I have talked to parents who say - "she did it all herself, communication, everything" only to learn that they hired a recruiting coach for $$$$. I firmly believe that some kids I know have fewer options than DS right now because the parents let them drift. What a shame.
This discussion has been closed.