Fall racing has been canceled and no crew events are planned. However, ………………
On August 24, 2020, the Purdue Crew Boathouse came to life. It was a 7 am workout for the Varsity Women to first breathe life into our facility. In the afternoon, the remaining varsity women and the varsity men really brought her back to life. The student-athletes as well as the coaches were really excited and sincerely happy to be back, even though it was ergs, running, calisthenics & stretching.
The returning varsity members total 72 comprised of 43 with Varsity Men and 29 with the Varsity Women. And even though we can’t be on the water due to COVID-19 restrictions, the members are really happy and excited to be home. And as a coach, it’s nice to have somebody to coach again. The athletes are eager to be worked. Even the land-based workouts have an energy to them that is almost equal to being on the water. I cannot wait to see the excitement when the hulls are wetted for the first time.
Both varsity squads are blessed with very strong leadership from the Junior and Senior classes. And remarkedly, the sophomore class is quite large even though they did not have their first spring season. They are a strong group in numbers and in commitment to achieve.
Recruiting the new freshman class has been a bit of a challenge. With the restrictions of social distancing, de-densifying, it might seem much more challenging to engage in conversation with the incoming freshman class. However, they are excited to be here and are eager to learn. I have found that a simple “Welcome to Purdue” is a great way to start a possible conversation. When that happens, it is easy to lean the conversation into an invitation and welcome to the Purdue Crew program.
We had three callouts the first week and we had approximately 35 very interested new members at the first two call-outs and believe the third will be just a fruitful. We have them signed up for their first workouts and are excited to see them take their first strokes. We are anticipating forty freshman women and 60 freshman men testing out the waters.
This year there is a good number of experienced rowers and coxswain in these freshman numbers. Both the novice women and novice men’s squads are starting to put in the work that will win some shirts come spring. Even with social distancing, the bond between these athletes in happening already.
The next step in the retention plan is using our pontoon barge system to put 8 rowers on the water versus 16 rowers to meet the de-densify and social distance COVId requirements. We’ll have to present a proposal to Purdue’s Medical Team for their review and approval.
This is a strange and unusual time. What it takes to win has not changed. Being competitive in all that you do, taking pride in your work ethic and commitment to your teammates builds the trust and respect in each other that is the foundation for success.
Look for an update later this fall.