Our blog feature this week is "5 Tips for Success in Collegiate Rowing" from Oklahoma City Training Center athletes. Each weekday, our athletes will give pointers on how to get the most out of your collegiate rowing experience. If you have any specific categories of interest, tweet your ideas to @RowOKC_HP !
Today's tips for Lightweight Men are from 2012 London Olympian, Robin Prendes.
5 Tips For Success in Collegiate Rowing: Lightweight Men
Most of these are general tips for all college rowers but I think they are of particular importance to lightweights. Due to the obvious weight and power limitations, lightweight racing is extremely competitive at every stage of the game. That being said, even though some of the tips outlined below may seem trivial, from experience, I can tell you that little things like these are what ultimately make the difference between good and great college rowers.
Whether its during a hard workout, racing between teammates or lining up against another school, making a habit out of racing and being competitive will help you get in the right mindset when it’s time to excel.
2. Rest is Best.
This is coach Volp’s favorite line and even though I often poke fun at it, he’s absolutely right. Sleeping at least 8 hours a night and taking it easy on the days that you have off will pay dividends in the long run. In college, rowers have a very hectic schedule and the stress from academics and even your social life will often pile up so much so that sleep is seen as secondary or not important. From a healthy immune system to faster recovery and injury prevention, rest is always best.
3. Stay on top of academics.
You can train as hard as you want, be as fast and together as a crew as you’ve ever been and have the best coach in the country but all that means nothing if you miss a week of sleep cramming for an exam or writing a paper before your big championship. Also, I hope you don’t need this blog to tell you this but you’re no good to your team or your life after rowing if you can’t pass your classes and stay eligible. That’s why you’re a student/athlete and not the other way around.
4. Watch your weight.
This is always important for lightweights at any stage and of any gender. You don’t have to be at target weight year round but starving and dehydrating yourself excessively when racing season comes will not only destroy the sexy muscles you’ve worked so hard to get but also cause dietary problems and cravings that will make it extremely difficult to stay on target week after week.
5. Have fun.
Having fun is not only the most important thing at the end of the day but it is also critical to staying motivated and improving through-out your rowing career. This one should be the easiest to accomplish because of the company and support of your teammates. While at school my closest and most fun friends were by far my teammates. College rowing can be one of the most fun experiences of your life, enjoying what your doing will make the work seem like fun and the long winters bearable.