Hi there! I’m a rising senior in high school and I’m considering rowing in college but I’m not entirely certain that I want to do it. Should I talk to the coaches of a couple schools anyways or should I just wait until I get to college?
You could do either one but it might be easiest to test the waters now vs. when you get to campus and have tons of other things occupying your time during the first couple of weeks. I’d recommend getting in contact with the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator (they’re almost always the same person) of the schools you’re applying/have applied to and indicate that you’re interested in rowing in college but haven’t fully made a decision one way or the other yet. Let them know the major(s) you’re interested in and ask for some basic information about the team (I’d say limit it to two or three questions max for right now).
Don’t forget to include your basic stats – height/weight, which side you row, your 2k and 5k/6k time and average splits, the boat you rowed in this year/how well you did, etc. so that they can get a general idea of who you are as an athlete (assuming you’re already a rower – if you’re not just include your height/weight). Including your GPA and any academic highlights (the number of APs you’re taking seems to be a common one…) is also a good idea. If you’ve got all that on a rowing resume already then you can just attach that. I’ve found that when emailing coaches, the shorter and more direct your email is the more likely you are to get a response (not a fast response, just a response in general).
When you’ve got some free time, scroll through the “recruiting” tag and read some of the (many) questions other people have asked. There’s some good info in there and some of it might end up applying to you if decide to pursue rowing in college.