Virtually none of our athletes had prior rowing experience before high school, many had never even considered it. Within a short time, however, they grew to love the beauty and power of the sport and learned how to compete on a regional and national level. The boathouse welcomes everyone who is willing to commit fully to the team and has the drive to do the work needed to pursue excellence.
The primary goal of Unionville Crew is to create a team where each athlete can discover their true potential. Some come to us from other sports, others are exploring their athletic side for the very first time. By the time they graduate we want all our athletes to have learned the value of hard work and understand the gifts and lessons that can be found in the pursuit of excellence. Winning is not the goal but can be the happy result as we work to chase perfection. Perfection may never be achieved but the character we build in its quest will last a lifetime.
Crew typically attracts type “A” personalities and rowing teams in the vast majority of high schools and colleges have some of the highest GPA’s on campus. Scholarships are somewhat limited on the men’s side but there is great opportunity on the women’s side. Some of the top collegiate men’s programs include Yale, Harvard, Washington, Cal, Princeton, and BU. On the women’s side you can find speed at Washington, Cal, Texas, Michigan, and UVA, among others.
Due to the novelty of the sport, you probably have a few questions:
Who should think about rowing?
Coxswain (Under 120 lbs):
Is crew a varsity sport?
Crew is a varsity sport and athletes can earn varsity letters. We enjoy good support from the athletic department and all our athletes adhere to the same rules as every varsity athlete at Unionville. We have access to the weight room and to the athletic trainer. Our athletes work extremely hard and we are committed to putting boats on the water that can compete on a national level.
We do not, however, receive any funding from the school, so all our expenses are supported by season dues and fundraising efforts of our athletes and parents. We have an extremely supportive parent board and we encourage all our parents to get involved to help us go fast!
What is practice like?
Crew is unique in that there are a specific number of seats in each boat and when a seat goes unfilled it can mean that many other athletes are unable to practice. There are no sidelines and there is no bench, so athletes learn very quickly that they are very dependent on each other for their success and for their ability to even participate. Rowing is the ultimate team sport, and because of this we have fairly strict rules for attendance, especially in the spring.
When is crew season?
Spring – The spring racing season is our regular season. The spring racing season goes from the beginning of March to the middle of May. During this time athletes are expected to treat rowing as their number one priority after academics. Practice is mandatory. Practice takes place four days a week after school AND every weekend throughout the season. We will be racing every weekend from late March through end of May. We usually race on Sundays, although some races may be on a Friday and Saturday. All of our races take place within 90′ of the school but most regattas require a substantial time commitment.
We practice the first Saturday and Sunday and the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of spring break. This is mandatory for all Varsity athletes and Novice/Freshmen athletes are strongly encouraged to attend.
If you don’t think you can abide by these rules you will need to think seriously about joining the team.
Fall – The fall is time for our experienced athletes to continue learning and for our novices to discover the joy of rowing! Training involves longer intervals in preparation for fall races which are three miles and can take 16 – 20 minutes to complete. The season lasts from the first day of school until the middle of November. The fall is more relaxed and participation in the fall is not a requirement in order to row in the spring. If you participate in a fall sport already we encourage you to continue that participation.
Winter Training – This season lasts from the beginning of December to the end of February. We move indoors with practice held at Unionville High School. The winter is vitally important to speed in the spring as our training begins to add in higher intensity work and weight training. There are no athletes at Unionville that work harder than our kids do during the winter. Novices are encouraged to join us for this important training unless they are already doing a winter sport.
Winter Training is mandatory for all Varsity athletes (unless participating in another winter sport) and strongly encouraged for all novices.
Do I have to row all three seasons?
No! We do have plenty of athletes who row all year but it is not a requirement. You can row in the fall and then move on to different sports in the winter or spring. You can row in the fall, play a different sport in the winter, and come back out in the spring. You can also just row in the spring if you already do a fall or winter sport.
We encourage multi-sport athletes and hope that if you want to you explore other sports. Cross training is good for any sport you do and helps prevent burn-out. Doing multiple sports can help with injury prevention, balance, and strength.
Can I do other activities and still row?
We want well-rounded athletes who excel on the water, in the classroom, and in life. As long as you plan ahead and communicate with your coach we can accommodate your schedule outside of rowing in the fall and winter. In the spring – see above.
How do I get to practice and races?
Busing is provided to and from the boathouse during the week or students can drive. Transportation on Saturdays and to and from races is provide by the students or parents.