Our men’s rowing team works harder than you think

State Hornet

One morning with the men’s rowing team is all one needs to realize what a great sport it is. When thinking of the word “sport,” rowing is not the first thing to come to mind because the media does not televise it as often as football, baseball or soccer games.

Waking up at four in the morning is not something I do everyday but to make it to practice on time, at 6 a.m. sharp, it is a cruel necessity. Having to go to bed when the sun is still up is a tough pill to swallow and is not easy to do.

“The hardest part is getting up this early every morning,” Cole said.

An early practice means getting up even earlier to start training. Many of the guys joke around saying they get up at 5:40 a.m., just 20 minutes before practice begins. During tryouts, practice begins with roll call and the team splitting up into four groups of eight, the amount of people needed to fill one boat.

Two groups go into the weight room while the other two get the boats into the water and start training the new guys how to row properly.

Unless you are doing track and field, you are not going to run as much as this team does since cardio is the most important part to keep up their endurance.

“Yeah, sometimes we run eleven miles in a day,” Cole said, “We have the entire practice time to  do it.”

I certainly am not the most athletic person around, making this seem like an impossible task for me to grasp.

Getting into a small boat and trying to row with Cole makes you realize just how much upper body strength and coordination is needed just to keep the oar afloat.You have to hold the oar in a specific position if you are not rowing and make sure it gently glides across the water top. I kept dipping the oar under the surface making me lose control and almost flipping the entire boat with the weight of the water on the one oar. My arms ached the next day from all the weight.  

When the chance to actually row occurs, making sure you hit the water is the number one priority but you also need to make sure you are hitting the water at the same time your partner does. This may seem easy, but every stroke is different: some are long, hard strokes while others are quick and easy. If you watch the Varsity team they are in sync with each other and easily stroke their way across the aquatic center and back.  

The amount of power and coordination needed to not only control the oar but to keep in tune with the other players in the same boat is a lot more difficult than it seems.  Not only were the players very patient with  me, but coach Anthony Hohman was as well.

While he is tough on everybody, he was willing to coach everyone through the movements.It takes some time to get used to and even when I did manage to do that,it was very difficult to row.

In the last year alone, the team have won four gold medals, a silver medal in different events and have beaten UC Davis three out of four times. Respect is given to those who deserve it, and there is no doubt the men on this team have earned it. Not many teams around Sac State can say this making the multiple victories for the team much sweeter.

Not all sports have to be either tough or fun and I was lucky enough to learn this on my outing with the team. Don’t get me wrong, it is really hard to row a boat, for me at least, but it was definitely fun trying to learn how to do it.

If I had more time on my hands, I would  join the women’s  team in an instant. Hohman said that the team is always welcoming new players and would like to add to the almost 40-man roster.

Trying new things is not always easy but it could be worth it in the end. Rowing is one of those things.