Attending camp is a good idea during the recruiting process, and it can be beneficial in a number of ways.
- High school crew athletes can improve their rowing skills after learning from by college rowing coaches. This high-level teaching is particularly helpful for underclassmen trying to improve.
- Camps offer some level of exposure to college rowing programs. But there’s not much chance of being “discovered” at a crew camp. Coaches already familiar with you may evaluate your skills further, but if they don’t know who you are when you show up, it’s likely they won’t know you when camp ends.
- Rowing camp can give you a good idea of how you measure up to other student-athletes. Exposure to other rowers can help you find out the skills that you need to improve on the most.
- College rowing camps let you get a small taste of campus life. You stay in the dorms, use the athletic facilities and experience other aspects that may help you make a decision when it comes to choosing a school.
Choosing a Rowing Camp
Do your research when choosing a rowing camp. It’s also important to know if you’re going to crew camp mainly for exposure or to work on your fundamentals.
If you’re hoping for exposure, go to a rowing camp at a school that’s recruiting you. Remember, coaches don’t do much scouting at camps, so go to one where they already know who you are. Find out what crew coaches are on the camp staff and get in touch with them to let them know you’re coming.
If your main reason for camp is to improve your skills, learn as much as possible about the coaching staff. Are they experienced? Do they have a history of producing outstanding crew teams? Ask someone who’s been to the camp about the level of talent there.
What’s the difference between invite-only “elite” camps and college rowing camps?
Elite camps (like US Rowing selection camps) are generally invitation only and feature a high level of talent. The high quality of instruction plus top-level competition, is excellent for development. If you’re interested in an elite rowing camp, have your high school or club coach contact the camp and see how you can qualify.
College rowing camps are run by college crew coaches, and can offer a high level of skills instruction. These camps also give a recruit the chance to get a feel for the college rowing program that he’s considering. Attending camp at a school that you’re interested in lets you check out the school’s campus and athletic facilities, as well as gain some familiarity with the coaching staff.
What more do you need to know about being a crew recruit?
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