Junior Rowing FAQ



Who is a junior rower? All children aged 12-18 are considered juniors.

What is an erg? An erg, short for Indoor Rowing Ergometer, is an on land machine used to simulate the rowing stroke. It is used as both a learning tool and a fitness tool. Rowing technique can be taught, reviewed, and improved using an erg. Fitness can be evaluated and improved using an erg. Coaches use the erg to help evaluate rower’s performance, potential and improvements, and to help with seat placement for competitive rowing.

What is the difference between the Beginner, Intermediate and Competitive Programs?  Any junior interested in learning to row needs to take a beginner level rowing class. This can be done either in the fall or spring beginner program or during the summer 2-week session. After completing one of these programs a junior can advance to the intermediate level. On occasion the coach may recommend that a beginner program be repeated. This is strictly for the benefit of the athlete as we may feel that the basics need reviewing. Admittance into the Competitive Program is by coach’s recommendation and tryouts.

What should juniors expect to do during a beginner program?”
All beginner rowers will spend the first 3 to 5 class sessions on land learning about rowing safety, equipment and technique. They will watch a safety video and learn what is expected of each athlete both on land and on the water. They will be introduced to the erg, as well as stretching, light running and calisthenics. Once on the water much time is spent listening and observing as athletes take turns trying the rowing stroke. Everyone must be patient! There are only so many seats in a boat so on occasion an athlete may be asked to ride with the coach in the coaching launch. This is a great opportunity for the athlete to see what rowing looks like from outside the boat and ask the coach questions. A portion of each practice session will be spent doing land work with the intention of both learning and reinforcing technique as well as improving fitness. In general, over the course of the class session, athletes should expect to split their time fairly evenly between water and land. At all times we expect each athlete to be giving their best effort to whatever they are doing.

What should a junior expect to do in the intermediate program?  All intermediate rowers will spend the first couple sessions reviewing safety, equipment and technique.  There is a lot to learn so there’s no such thing as too much review!  Workouts on land will increase in intensity as the athletes get stronger and more acquainted with the rowing technique.  In general, over the course of the class session, athletes should expect to split their time fairly evenly between water and land.  At all times we expect rowers to be giving their best effort and commitment.

It’s raining, do we still come to training?
Yes! We do row in the rain! All programs meet as scheduled regardless of weather. If severe lightening, wind or storms are present then we will not go on the water. All class participants will stay inside and continue to work and improve fitness and technique. Classes will not be rescheduled due to weather.

What is the refund/transfer/credit policy?
If you withdraw from a program prior to the start date you will receive a full refund minus a $75 fee. Once a program has started no refunds will be allowed. You can receive a credit towards a future program. Programs are not pro-rated unless you cannot continue to participate due to health and/or injury related reasons. Late registration will be allowed only if space is available.

How do I register for a program? All registration must be done online here.  There is NO onsite registration. Click on the appropriate program and follow the instructions.  Registration is through an outside party called RegattaCentral.  If you encounter a problem with the online registration please first try to switch the browser you are using to Firefox or Chrome.  If the problem still persists please contact RegattaCentral directly via email at support@regattacentral.com or by phone at 614-360-2922. All program fees must be paid in full by the start of the program. A $25 late fee will be applied to all outstanding balances.[/accordion-item]

Will I receive a confirmation that I am registered?
An automatic confirmation email is sent out be RegattaCentral after you have completed your registration. First time users will also receive an email with a username and password. This is so you can log into your RegattaCentral account for future program registrations. All questions and/or problems regarding this should be sent directly to RegattaCentral.

How do I pay for a program?
At the conclusion of the online registration form you will be given the option to pay online or by check. If you are a club member and would like to have your program fee added to your club account please choose “pay by check” and we will make sure that the fee is put through on your club account. You may also choose this option if you prefer to actually pay by check. A check can be mailed in or brought to us at the front desk. All payments must be completed prior to the start of each program. A $25 late fee will be applied to all outstanding balances.

Is there a discount if I (the parent) am a club member?
Yes! The fee posted on RegattaCentral is the non-member fee. All club members should choose the Pay-by-Check option at the end of registration. The member fee will be put onto your club account or you may pay by check or credit card at the front desk. If you pay online you will be charged the Non-Member fee.

Does my child need to be a club member to participate in a junior program?”  No. The club does not offer memberships for children under the age of 18. There is a discount for the children of adult club members but it is not necessary for your child to participate in our junior programs.

The program is full. What do I do?  On the registration page you will see a place to register for the waitlist.  We will do our best to get everyone into a program.  If a spot opens up you will be contacted a couple weeks prior to the start of the session.

What are the attendance requirements for each program?  For the beginner and intermediate programs we require attendance during the first two weeks of each new session. This is to help ensure that all participants are familiar with the basic boat handling techniques and safety concerns before getting on the water. We additionally ask that participate attend at least 80% of the sessions. If you are unable to make the first 2 weeks of a session or know that you will not be able to meet the attendance requirements please register for a program at a later date. In the competitive program all practices are mandatory unless otherwise stated. Three unexcused absences are grounds for dismissal from the program.

What should my child wear/bring to practice?
All participants should dress in layers, with tops being hi-visibility/neon. Dress appropriately for the weather, including a windbreaker or waterproof shell if necessary. You will want to be able to shed layers easily as you warm up. Rowing clothes will get dirty! Clothing should be both comfortable and snug. They should allow you to move freely but not be baggy. Baggy pants, shorts, shirts and hooded sweatshirts tend to get stuck in the sliding seats and the oars. Running sneakers are required. In many of the boats you will take your sneakers off and leave them on the dock, however they are needed for land workouts. Depending on the weather, sunglasses and hats may be needed and always have a reusable water bottle to take in the boat. It’s mandatory, for safety, to wear bright hi-vis colors while rowing.  Hi-vis tops can be bought in our ProShop or online at the Saugatuck Team StoreSRC towels are for adult member use only. Every child should bring their own small sport towel to each practice when it rains and or for practice needs.

Where do I drop off and pick up? All junior drop off and pick up is done on the boathouse side of the club. Please proceed PAST the front entrance and around to the boathouse side of the club.  All junior rowers will be released from their rowing session on that side of the building.  Junior rowers are not permitted to wait at the front entrance to the club.

What club facilities are junior rowers allowed to use?   Junior rowers may come to the club for their regularly scheduled rowing session.  Use of the facility is not allowed outside of those scheduled times.  Bathroom facilities are available for use.  Locker rooms are available for changing.  Junior rowers are not permitted to use the showers, steam room, or lockers.  All junior belongings will be stored near the boathouse.  We are not responsible for lost or stolen items so please do not bring valuables to the club!

What is the competitive team and how do I become a part of it?  The competitive program represents the club at many regattas throughout the year.  Admittance into the program is based on technique, erg scores, coach’s recommendation, and a try-out.  The Fall Pre-Season session is an open try-out to anyone interested.  In the winter athletes from the intermediate program may be invited to competitive practice for a try out session as time and space allows. Athletes in the beginner/intermediate programs can also ask their respective coaches about rowing competitively.

What is a coxswain and how do I learn more about becoming one?
The coxswain (or simply the cox) is one of the most important people in the boat! They are usually smaller in stature (as opposed to rowers who tend to be taller) and are responsible for the boat at all times. They are responsible for the safety, steering, motivation, and coordination of the power and rhythm of the crew. They need to have a “take charge” personality but also be able to take and follow instruction from the coach. In beginner/intermediate level rowing it is not uncommon for all athletes to be asked to sit in the coxswain seat at some point. It is important that everyone learns a bit about all the roles in the boat. For this reason, athletes interested in coxing will also have the opportunity to row. Coxing duties and skills will be taught by placing the athlete in the coxswain seat as well as having them ride in the launch with the coach. In the launch, the coxswain will be able to learn more about navigating the river, observe other coxswains in action, and hear more from the coach about what is expected. More detailed information can be found in our coxswain manual.