Crew begins virtual practice

Members+of+the+2019-20+crew+team+meet+virtually+to+stay+connected+during+Distance+Learning.+The+team+is+continuing+to+meet+virtually+for+the+fall+season.+

Photo courtesy of Claire Graham ('21)

Members of the 2019-20 crew team meet virtually to stay connected during Distance Learning. The team is continuing to meet virtually for the fall season.

Jasmin Taylor, Sports Editor: Online

Though the beginning of the fall sports season was postponed following concerns after an increase in U.K. and ASL COVID-19 cases, the crew team started their fall season Sept. 29,  practicing through Zoom five times a week. 

Members of the crew team will participate in a similar training format to last year, consisting of two erg sessions, one weights session, one yoga session and one rowing technique session per week.

Cate Parkinson (’21) said that the virtual practices are crucial because they help maintain the proper skill and technique needed for crew.

“It’s good for us to remember technique,” she said. “You can train for however many weeks, but once we get on the water and you flip … you’re not going to be fast.”

However, Johannes van Zuydam (’23) said that an aspect that becomes lost through virtual training is the team dynamic. 

Crew is a hard sport, so everyone is used to encouraging each other, and I don’t think you can get that over Zoom.”

— Jonannes van Zuydam ('23)

“The main point of crew is being with the team, and the motivation of being together,” he said. “It’s a really hard sport, so everyone is used to screaming at each other and encouraging each other, and I don’t think you can get that over Zoom.” 

On the other hand, Parkinson said that virtual practices are arguably more motivating that in-person training.

“[Virtual practices are] a little bit more motivating because having your teammates there as you’re trying to work out is nicer than if you’re by yourself,” she said. “It’s a little awkward at first, but it builds community before we get to be back together.”

Echoing Parkinson, Claire Graham (’21) said that, although it’s a shame to no longer train out on the water, “it’s still nice to be able to work as a team. It gives me more incentive to perform my best on all of the workouts.”

It’s still nice to be able to work as a team. It gives me more incentive to perform my best on all of the workouts.”

— Claire Graham ('21)

Moreover, Parkinson said that having practice after school has had a positive effect on her productivity in academics. 

“Sometimes I come home and I have work to do, but I don’t get as much done as I would when I come home later from practice, so there’s a different motivating factor,” she said.

Despite the positives of starting the crew season, van Zuydam said “the crew team is trying to do the best that they can, but it’s also a big issue that not everybody has access to an erg, so I think the workouts are very limited.”

In addition, van Zuydam said “we’re only getting on the water in January, so it’s a big step down from last season, but for the time being it’s good enough.”

As the season continues, Parkinson said that she is looking forward to developing a sense of “community” and “togetherness” between team members.

Similarly, Graham said she is excited to be back with the team, but is also looking forward to potentially competing.

“Some races haven’t been canceled yet,” she said. “We are working towards the big end of year race, Henley.” 

Helen Roth contributed to reporting.