Athletes who come to Cal with rowing experience from high school or junior college can expect to immediately row with the varsity men or women. They will be able to immediately take advantage of our top-of-the-line new Resolutes, and will also be able to get their workouts done in our new erg room featuring brand-new Concept II Model E ergs. Cardio equipment and weights are conveniently located two floors above the erg room in the RSF student gym.
Although we are a club team, we can help you get into the university. Every year, the coaching staff writes letters of support for a few select candidates who meet or exceed our 2k requirement, who have good race results, and who have good grades and extracurriculars. This does not guarantee admission, but it can be of significant help to you especially at a school like Cal where admissions are highly competitive. If you would like to be considered for a letter of support, please contact Coach Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your 2k PR, height, weight, grades/GPA, and race results. Priority will be given to athletes whose first choice school is UC-Berkeley.
Inexperienced or Novice Rowers
If you have never touched an oar before in your life, don't worry! Many of the most successful rowers in history walked on to their college teams with no experience- in fact, over 70% of Olympians began their rowing careers in college. Our expert coaching staff will teach you the precise technique required to row effectively and help you get into the best shape of your life! While it helps to have an athletic background (especially from similar endurance sports such as cross-country, swimming, or cycling) all you really need to succeed at Cal Lightweight is a willingness to work hard for yourself and your teammates.
Why row? In addition to the incredible athletic benefits, team-oriented atmosphere, amazing sunrises every morning and friendships that last a lifetime, rowing looks great on a résumé or grad school application! Employers and admissions committees are frequently impressed by the level of dedication and commitment demonstrated by rowers, not to mention the prestige of winning a divisional or national title!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- Aren't practices really early in the morning? What if I can't wake up?
Water practices are held 5am-7:30am and land practices are held 6am-7:30am, which allows students to be back on campus in time to make their 8am classes. Don't let the early wake-up scare you! You'll adjust quickly and the early practice time allows you time for schoolwork, classes, other clubs, or socializing in the evenings. The rewards of rowing are well worth the time commitment!
Q- Will trying to balance school and rowing hurt my grades?
A- No! Our average team GPA is a 3.78- that's well above average for Cal students. Rowers often report that rowing actually helps them manage their time better, since they have a highly regimented schedule and their teammates are relying on them to be at practice and not catching up on work or cramming last-minute for a test.
Q- Isn't rowing one of the most expensive sports? What if I can't afford it?
A- While rowing is generally an expensive sport, our $700 a semester dues are some of the lowest in the country (at Ohio State, you'd pay more than double that!) It's a great value because those dues cover the expensive equipment, our outstanding coaches, and travel across the state and country! We have a policy of letting everyone row regardless of financial situation, so if you are in need of reduced dues you just have to let us know!
Q- Does the team socialize outside of practice time?
A- Absolutely! Every day after morning practice, we go to team breakfast in the dining hall- it's a great way to get to know everyone from across the different squads. Additionally, we do various team bonding activities throughout the semester, ranging from frozen yogurt runs to Secret Santa to trips to Yosemite to team Thanksgiving dinner! At Cal Lightweight, we really do feel like a big family.