For The Experienced Rower or Coxswain
In many ways, you’ll find rowing in college to be pretty similar to your high school club experience. And in many other ways, you’ll realize that collegiate rowing (club or Varsity) is also wildly different. At SDSU, you’ll find a program that understands the rigors of balancing your educational & social demands while still promoting a positive, championship-seeking culture. The expectations rise higher as you make the jump into the next level of your athletic and academic careers and we pride ourselves on providing the structure, ethic and balance necessary to be successful in both. If you have any questions about rowing in college or what SDSU Men’s Crew offers, contact the coaches by clicking below:
No Rowing Experience?
The overwhelming majority (90+%) of the student-athletes that join our program have never heard of rowing before stepping on campus. While we’re constantly looking for experience athletes to join our program, we will always be a program primarily dependent on finding the best athletes on San Diego State’s campus and developing them into collegiate oarsmen. If you’ve ever had an interest in the sport, or if you’re simply looking to find a way to stay in shape – make new friends on-campus – or just stay competitive, San Diego State Men’s Crew is an opportunity you won’t want to miss out on. Click below to let the coaches know you’re interested and we’ll get back you with answers to any questions you might have.
What if I've never rowed before?
The majority (90+%) of the student-athletes that join our program have never heard of rowing before stepping on campus. We will always be a program that is dependent on finding the best athletes on San Diego State’s campus and developing them into collegiate oarsmen. The Novice classification extends to any rower in their first two semesters of collegiate rowing.
Basically, this means that as a first year rower, you’ll race other first year rowers. The last two spring seasons have seen our Novice 8+ ranked in the ACRA National Top 10.
When are practices?
Fall practices begin with water sessions running from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, located at Mission Bay Aquatic Center We will have a carpool established for 4:00pm that meets just outside the ARC, so you don’t have to worry about getting yourself there!
Practices run Monday – Friday to begin the year. If you have questions about the schedule and your availability, please reach out to Coach Craig (email@example.com)
The normal varsity practice and race schedule can be found here.
What do I need to wear/bring for practice?
Form-fitting athletic wear is best -baggy shorts are especially difficult. Be sure to bring athletic shoes, a water bottle, your RedID, and any questions you might have.
Sunglasses/Sunblock are highly recommended for those Mission Bay afternoons.
Is there a "Rowing Season" or is it Year-Round?
Rowing is a year-round sport with multiple seasons that stretch across different distances depending on the time of year.
The Fall Season consists of Head Races; 5-6,000 meter races (~20 minutes) that pit your boat against the clock in an attempt to run the course in the fastest time while you chase down boats ahead of you and outrun those behind you.
The Spring Season consists of Sprint Races; a straight 2,000 meter course that run 6-8 lanes wide, sending all the boats sprinting away from the starting line with the drop of a flag. Races ultimately decided by inches. Yeah, it’s intense…
Where do we race?
With races all along the west coast -in Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento and on our home waters of Mission Bay – we get the opportunity to line up against the best crews in the nation.
We also attend the American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships at the site of the 96′ Atlanta Olympics in Georgia.
All of this includes the San Diego Crew Classic, the largest spring season race in the country, held on our home waterway.
Choosing to become a Coxswain with SDSU Men’s Crew:
Choosing to become a coxswain opens up an entirely unique world in which you will be able to develop and grow the integral leadership and communication skills coxswains comes to possess. Coxswains learn to become adept in management, organization, and the ability to put a plan to action. These skills not only help in terms of self-development but are also fantastic qualities all future employers actively seek out in applicants and serve you well beyond college.
Another benefit to becoming a Coxswain with Aztec Rowing is the team atmosphere and community you begin to develop with other coxswains and the rowers. Rowing becomes a second family to all who join because of the comradery and friendships you develop with fellow teammates.
What is a Coxswain?
Simply put, a coxswain (pronounced KOK-sen) is the leader of a crew. They sit facing the rowers and are responsible for steering the boat and coordinating the rowers’ rhythm and drive. They also command the crew on and off the water— when a boat is ready to move, the coxswain is in charge.
What makes for a good Coxswain?
Coxswains are the leaders of a crew— they are confident and committed to making their crew as fast and efficient as possible. They are slo focused and smart. A coxswain makes tactical decisions for the rowers all while translating the coach’s drills and instructions to be as concise and understandable as possible. While the rowers are concentrating their physical energy into moving the boat, a coxswain is focusing their mental energy. A coxswain is invaluable to their crew. Above all, a coxswain is an athlete. They are a good teammate to their peers and driven to succeed whether that be on the water or in the classroom.
What are the responsibilities of a Coxswain?
1. Keeping the rowers safe.
2. Command the boat – beyond just steering (although that is pretty important).
3. Coach the crew and provide feedback.
4. Provide motivation and encouragement to the rowers.
5. Organize and direct the crew on and off the water.
How do the rower’s hear me?
There are devices called “Cox-Boxes” that are used to amplify a coxswain’s voice throughout each boat. They are worn like a microphone attached to a headband and plug into loudspeakers that run down the length of the boat. Aside from Cox-Boxes, we also use devices known as Speedcoaches that display information needed for racing such as speed, distance traveled, and time.
How do I steer?
It varies, depending on the boat. But a coxswain is able to control the boat through the use of a rudder using cables fastened at the coxswain seat. These are only meant for minor adjustments, because a coxswain should be focused on steering as straight of a course as they can.