College rowing camps offer student-athletes a chance to increase their recruiting exposure and get evaluated by coaches, making them an important part of the recruiting process. College rowing camps are especially helpful for rowers and coxswains who may not have a lot of access to recruiting exposure in their region, allowing athletes to hone their skills and potentially check out a college they’re interested in. College rowing camps can even help inexperienced but promising athletes learn the ropes before they attempt to win a spot on a novice crew and become a walk-on at their college.
However, researching the right camps to attend and finding prices for each one can be a time-consuming process for families that don’t have a lot of time to spare. That’s why NCSA has compiled a definitive list of every varsity men’s rowing camp and varsity women’s rowing camp in the country. You will also find the date, age level and cost of each college rowing camp, potentially saving you hours of research time. Check them out here:
What does a rowing camp invitation mean?
Not every college rowing camp invite is the same. If you’ve received a camp invite from a coach you’ve been communicating with, that’s a great sign and likely means that you’re on that coach’s radar. However, if an invite you’ve received looks generic, you’re probably not on that coach’s radar yet. You’ll get the most out of camp if coaches know who you are, so make an effort to build a relationship with coaches ahead of time. If you can’t attend, you should still make sure to respond to all your camp invites. This way, you can still try to connect with coaches and even share your highlight video.
Before you register for camp
A great college rowing camp experience is largely a result of good preparation. First, do your research on the school and program before you register for camp. Attending a camp is a great opportunity to improve your skills and get recruiting exposure, but the decision to do so should be based on your family’s budget and your level of experience.
If you have received a camp invite to a college on your list and your family can afford it, you should consider attending. Even if you’re not a serious recruit for that program, you can get valuable camp experience. If you’re working with a tight budget, focus on your target schools or look at who else will be in attendance at the camp in question. If coaches from other colleges will be present, especially ones from schools you are considering, it might be worth stretching your budget to attend. It’s valuable to get seen by multiple college coaches in one camp. However, if you can’t afford a camp, make sure to still respond to your invite.
Rowers and coxswains need to be strategic in choosing the right college rowing camp to attend since just showing up won’t guarantee you’ll get noticed by college coaches. Make sure to connect with coaches before attending to get on their recruiting radar and improve your chances of getting evaluated.
What are the different types of rowing camps?
- High performance camp: tailored for experienced rowers and coxswains. Beginner rowers or coxswains may be better suited for a “standard” or beginner camp, as the level of rowing and instruction may be difficult to keep up with.
- Beginner camp: tailored for less-experienced rowers and coxswains. Beginner camps also often include learn-to-row instruction in order to teach athletes new to the sport how to row. Some college programs are also open to teaching athletic walk-ons how to row.
- “Standard” camp: a camp that doesn’t identify itself as a high-performance or beginner camp. May include instruction for both beginner and experienced rowers and coxswains. Make sure to check
What to expect at rowing camps
Access to a rowing club or high school rowing team is difficult to come by in some regions of the country, so many camps tailor their instruction to meet the needs of experienced or beginner rowers and coxswains. Athletes who have not rowed before may undergo learn to row instruction. For experienced rowers and coxswains, everything from training programs to technique may be covered, in both sweep rowing and sculling. This may include technical development, race prep, ergometer testing, nutrition, strength training, flexibility and recruiting information.
How to make the most of your college rowing camp experience
Make the most of your camp experience by following a few simple tips:
- Be prompt. College coaches notice student-athletes who arrive late. Double check registration and start times to ensure you’ll get there early.
- Bring all the essentials. You’ll want to be at your best when competing in front of college coaches. Make sure you have all the equipment you need to do just that: spandex shorts, water bottle, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. You can check the camp’s website, too, as it often outlines everything you should bring.
- Stay positive. College coaches look for recruits who are coachable, so they’ll evaluate your body language and attitude on and off the field. It’s important to stay positive because it shows coaches that you’re mentally tough.
- Check out campus. Stick around after camp and visit the university to get a feel for the campus. If there’s another college nearby, make the most of your day and check out that one, too. Seeing a college campus in person can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
Make sure to follow up after the camp
Once you’ve left camp, your camp effort isn’t actually over. Maintaining communication with college coaches Is extremely important, so after camp you’ll want to follow up with coaches and thank them for the opportunity. You can also ask them about which skills you need to improve. Afterward, whenever you have noteworthy updates to share, such as new video or verified stats, email them about your progress. Building relationships with college coaches is essential to staying on their radar and getting an offer.
Read more: How to email college coaches