NSBR HIGH SCHOOL
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Rowing is a wonderful outdoor physical activity that offers men or women, adults or youth, a challenging combination of fitness, teamwork and technique. To succeed at rowing takes commitment, discipline, physical fitness and hard work. Everyone in a boat must work together in harmony for the boat to go fast and for the team to succeed. It is the ultimate team sport and offers a unique sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to those who participate in it. And, because rowers spend a lot of time training together, they often end up developing life-long friendships.
Are there different types of rowing?
There are two types of rowing - sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing, each rower uses only one oar. The most commonly used boats are fours and eights, with a coxswain on board to help steer the boat. In sculling, the rower uses two smaller oars. The boats are referred to as a"single" (one rower), a double (two rowers) or a quad (4 rowers). Sculling boats do not have a coxswain.
How long are the boats and what are they made of?
The longest boat (or "shell") is an “eight” and is around 59 feet long. Shells are made out of fiberglass or carbon fiber to reduce weight, maintain stiffness, and handle stress. The heaviest shell weighs around 250 pounds and is carried by eight people. The lightest shell, a single, weighs around 35 pounds and can be carried by one person. Like automobiles, shells are manufactured by many companies with varying methods of construction, types of materials used, designs and colors.
What is the role of the coxswain?
In an 8, the coxswain (“cox” for short) sits in the stern (back of the boat). Some 4’s have bow (front of the boat) coxswains and some have stern coxswains. In addition to steering the boat, they are responsible for race strategy and very often make the difference between whether a boat wins or loses. At practice, they conduct drills, follow practice routines and give technical feedback to the rowers. Ideally, junior coxswains weigh in at around 110 pounds. A lower weight helps keep the boat competitive, though in some races, if the coxswain is too light, he or she may be required to carry weight to bring their weight up to a minimum level. Learning to be a coxswain is a great way for someone with a slight build to get involved in rowing. Coxswains need to be tough and possess leadership qualities. They are often called upon to demonstrate a level of maturity beyond that of their peer group.
Junior Programs (8th - 12th grade)
What is the practice schedule?
Practices for the competitive youth teams are held after school, starting at 3:30pm and lasting until 6:15pm; and on weekends, in the early morning. Each squad typically practices five times per week in the Fall season, and six times per week in the Spring season.
What is a typical practice like?
In addition to taking boats out and rowing on the water, athletes train at practice in a variety of other ways – on rowing machines (ergs), weight lifting, running, and core strengthening and stretching.
Are all the practices mandatory?
Although missing practices will not result in getting cut from a team, a rower’s attendance or lack of attendance will impact their rowing development and placement in competitive boats. If there is a standing conflict that may prevent your rower from attending practices on a regular interval, this should be discussed with the rower’s specific coach.
Practice starts soon after school is out, can I be late to practice?
It is best to arrive to practice on time. Due to limited daylight on school days, the rowers generally go out on the water soon after practice begins. Once rowers are on the water they do not come back to pick up a rower who is late unless it was pre-arranged and approved by the coach. After the boat's lineup is set, a late athlete prevents an entire boat from launching until everyone arrives.
Can I leave practice early?
Once on the water, logistically it is difficult to get individuals back to the dock early. If the specific practice is a land practice or if the boats are off the water because it is dark, leaving early is not generally disruptive to the rest of the team. If it requires sending an entire boat back to the dock early, it is more problematic. However, if the coach is aware of scheduling conflict well in advance, accommodations can be made.
What is the difference between fall and spring season?
Fall season involves general fitness conditioning and rowing skills. Fall season has several head racing regattas (5000m-6000m courses raced against time). Spring season involves more regattas which are sprint races (4-8 boats racing head to head over a 2000m course). Spring season also has several away regattas including Southwest Regionals which qualify boats to Nationals.
I participate in another activity and can only row just fall or spring season. Can I only row one season and how will it affect me?
Although it is possible to participate in only one season on an annual basis, you will be competing for seat positions with rowers who row both seasons providing them more boat and practice time.
I need to carpool, how can NSBR support me?
NSBR encourages carpooling due to the limited parking at the boat house. Many of our rowers carpool to practices and regattas. At the parents' meeting at the beginning of the season, carpool opportunities will be discussed.
What high schools are represented in the NSBR program?
Over the years, students in our rowing program have come from nearly every public and private high school in the area.
What is the role of parents?
As the parent or guardian of a NSBR rower, parents have the potential to have a significant impact on the development and success of the Club’s rowing program. In addition to volunteering their time and talents, parents can help enormously by:
Encouraging junior rowers and promoting sportsmanship
Being supportive of the coaches, striving for perfect attendance at practices and avoiding schedule conflicts wherever possible
Being timely with practice arrival and pick-up, carpooling if you can
Monitoring student athlete’s progress, particularly in relation to academic priorities
Staying informed and escalating any concerns to the coaching staff