Question of the Day

At the moment I have been doing quite well within my squad, I have been in the A boat (quad). I row for school and next term part way through the season we have a new rower joining us as one left. She is really tall and said her older brothers were quite good rowers. Today was her first time in a boat and she has never been on an erg. Is it possible that she could take “my” spot? This is my second season rowing and I am not very tall, 5’3. I am really worried she will!!

I’d say probably not. The thing about rowing is that no matter what, everyone sucks when they first start rowing. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who immediately hopped in a boat or on an erg and didn’t suck. You can pick up the sport fairly quickly, but you’ll spend the next 30 years perfecting every inch of the stroke. If you’ve been rowing in the top boat for awhile and she is just now joining the sport, I would think that your spot it safe. Don’t worry about things that don’t matter like whether her brothers were good or how tall she is. Technique, strength, focus, dedication, determination, and commitment matter 100x more than any of that stuff.

Related: This is probably going to sound really stuck up but I promise you I am not intending it to be that way. I’m the only coxswain my team has. I’ve coxed them through every race and I love coxing so much and I love my team, but one of my rowers now says she wants to be a coxswain and there’s only enough girls for one boat. I’m honestly terrified she’s going to try and take my spot and I want it way more than she does, to be quite honest. I’m just really worried and idk what to do.

Instead of worrying about whether she’s going to take your seat, focus on YOUR training and making sure that your coach has no reason to take you out of the boat. Don’t give them a reason to think that she deserves it more than you when she has less experience. Focus on your training, your technique, your erg times, etc. and let your coaches worry about teaching the new girl. I assume since you’re in the A boat, there’s a B and C boat? She’ll probably start off in one of those and then as she improves, maybe she’ll be put into the A boat. If she is, set the example for how “A boat” rowers do things. Until that point comes though, don’t worry about hypotheticals.

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