Christian Brothers Academy Athletics


Crew Tryout Information 2020


CBA Athletics | 7/29/2020

Do I need to have prior experience?
Absolutely not! Almost every rower begins in high school or later. The great part about this sport is that everyone starts at square one.

What season is this sport?
It’s somewhat comparable to the track season. The fall season is about learning and conditioning. Races are longer, about 3 miles, and is comparable to cross country. Winter is indoor training on the ergometer (rowing machine) and in our indoor rowing tanks. Spring is the main season. Races are shorter, either 1500 meters or 2000 meters. This season is when we compete for state and national titles.

Can I play other sports at CBA and still participate in crew?
The fall season and spring season are extremely important, so an athlete would not be able to participate in another sport. Some athletes have chosen to play a winter sport instead of winter conditioning and have stayed in good shape that way.

Who will I compete against?
Crew has freshmen, junior, lightweight, and senior events. Freshmen will compete in boats of exclusively freshmen against other boats of exclusively freshmen. It helps to encourage bonding of the athletes in the class and ensures they will compete against athletes of a similar skill level. In terms of other teams, we primarily race school from the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. National races at the end of the season include scholastic programs from all over the United States and Canada.

What kind of athletes are we looking for?
Typically, rowers tend to be tall and lean with long limbs, although there are always exceptions. Successful rowers are well-conditioned and have good athletic endurance. Our rowers played a variety of sports prior to joining crew, such as: swimming, hockey, soccer, basketball, and running.

What is a coxswain?
A coxswain does not row, but steers the boat, ensures safety, executes the race plan, and generally leads the boat on and off the water. Coxswains need to be small and light, usually under 125 pounds. They need to be able to assert command of a boat and think quickly.

Can I try out after freshman year?
Yes, but it is much more difficult. Since only freshmen can row in freshmen events, you would have to make the varsity team against athletes who have at least a year of rowing experience. Some athletes have done this successfully, but it is sub-optimal. The freshmen team has a dedicated coach who works exclusively with them and focuses primarily on technical instruction. It is a crucial year for a rower’s development.

What can I expect at tryout?
Coaches and varsity rowers will give you a crash course in how to use an ergometer (rowing machine). After instruction, you’ll be asked to complete a 2000 meter race on the ergometer. It will take you around 8 minutes to complete, depending on your speed. Your score will be recorded as well as your weight adjusted score (your speed relative to your weight is important in a boat). Based on results, you may be asked to return for a second day of tryouts. On the second day, you’ll be given instruction in the rowing tanks. You will be assessed on your ability to take instruction and understand the basics of the rowing stroke. There may also be another race on the ergometer. Final decisions will be made after this day.

When does practice begin?
Monday September 14th
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