Possible to get recruited for a sport I've never played?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Melitzank, May 22, 2013.

  1. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Is it possible to get recruited for a sport I've never had experience with? In this case, crew. I understand that it's not too difficult to walk on during plebe summer with no prior experience, but what about getting recruited? Probably harder? I'd love to do crew, but it's pretty much impossible to do it around here...my school doesn't have it, not even a club around here, the closest one if 2+ hours away. Of course, I don't have to be recruited, but was wondering if it's ever happened before/how they go about it with someone who's had no experience (if they even do it at all?). I really think I'd be good at it, but just have never had the opportunity to try it.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't say officially yay or nay, but I can say I wouldn't recruit anyone for a sport they never participated in. YMMV.
     
  3. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    That's a no. They don't have a ton of recruit slots to start with, and they don't want to use their magic admissions wands on people who have never done the sport before.
     
  4. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Crew is not as "easy" as it looks . I am the mother of 4 and 2 of
    Them are runners , one rows and one dances.
    The rower is at a very well known and respected
    Club on the East coast and believe me when I tell you
    It is a lot more involved than you might think.
    First of all , at Navy , the crew team is very good;therefore, your
    Erg scores need to be at 6:30 or better . Even if
    You pull 6:30 you still need to be good on the
    Water to be recruited . This is the same for getting
    Recruited at other colleges for crew as well .
    Crew is becoming hugely popular and in turn
    More and more competitive .

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Yeah, that's what I figured, but I didn't know for sure since I had heard there were a lot of people that walked on during plebe summer.
     
  6. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Don't let my previous post discourage you .... I know plenty of athletic kids who have started crew in junior year of high school and have had great success. If you are interested in crew I would suggest going to a camp this summer to see if you like it .... Go from there !! It is a great sport !

    Best of luck to you!
     
  7. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Thanks, mjm, I'll try and do that!
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I was recruited and offered a slot at USNA for "heavyweight crew" "back in the day."

    I had NEVER rowed competitively; but I did work out at a gym with an "old guy" on a rowing system...we'd compete there. Turned out he was a four year letterman at USNA "a LONG time ago" and he called to coaches...

    I ended up NOT accepting that; I went to USAFA instead.

    But I really appreciated their faith in me..and I have rowed since!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  9. mjm

    mjm Member

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    @ flieger83

    That is impressive that you were recruited for crew .:smile:

    I would imagine the landscape of crew has changed over the years. Just in the county that I live in there are 6 rowing clubs with youth programs.... All of them are sending at least one, if not multiple boats to USA Rowing Youth Nationals in June of this year. I would liken the growth in rowing to that of lacrosse. When I was growing up only the Prep schools played lacrosse and rowed crew ... now it is wildly popular ....and more competitive . That being said, the OP seems to only be a sophomore in high school so it would be the perfect time to try the sport with a summer camp ( they have one at the Naval Acadmey ) or to try your hand at the ERG ( rowing machine).

    This is not to say that if the OP is 6'5 the Naval Academey will not grab his arm and throw him in a boat!! :biggrin:
     
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  10. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

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    To the OP, I may be able to offer some recent perspective. My son (Class of 2017 appointee) was recruited for crew by Navy as well as several other schools. I tried to stay out of his whole recruiting process, but during his visit to Navy, my son called me from the coach's office and said the coach wanted me to participate in their meeting as well.

    What the coach said was instructive, and I think very relevant to your question. I'm summarizing, but he said that he looks for the following in a recruit:

    - A "crew head". He wants someone who lives and breathes the sport, who commits fully to training and will commit fully to four years of rowing at Navy. What the athlete knows about the sport and what his HS coach says about him will be the most telling indicators of a crew head. An example -- the coach had a picture of a collegiate eight on his wall, and referred to it at one point, saying "you see that guy in the picture?" My son said, "Yes, that is Gern Blanston (or someone). He was in the Navy lightweight 8 at Eastern Sprints in 2006 when they finished first, gaining three seats on Princeton in the last 500 meters". I'm making those details up, but seriously, that is what happened and in that level of detail. I was kind of flabbergasted that my son knew all of that, and I think that the coach was too. He wants to see someone so into crew that he knows those details.

    - A boat mover. He wants someone who can pull a good erg, obviously.

    - A winner. Ergs don't float. You could be a beast on the erg, pull a really low number, but have terrible form on the water and no dynamics with your boatmates. Coach said that he wants to see someone who comes from a program with a legacy of success, who is used to winning through individual and team effort.

    My honest opinion is that if you are already well into your high school career, and you are not already established as a rower, you will not be recruited by Navy. Keep in mind that they establish their recruiting class somewhere in the August - December time frame of each class's senior year. To do that, the coach has to know about you and about your record of athletic achievement in the months leading up to that, so for example in the June - July time frame between your junior and senior year. That naturally limits the amount of time you have to establish yourself in the sport, if you are not (and you indicated that you are not) already there.

    By no means would I discourage you from jumping into crew and applying yourself. My perception is that if you arrive at plebe summer in great shape and with a couple of years of rowing experience, you would be an excellent walk-on prospect. I just would not expect the coach to recruit you.

    Good luck to you in your pursuit.
     
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  11. mjm

    mjm Member

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    @suddensam


    Congrats to your DS for his appointment and for being recruited for crew. We tried to get our rower interested in either Navy or CGA but it was a "no go" . She instead wants to pursue other avenues. It is our two runners that are inteterested in the SA's.

    I second everything you said in regards to being recruited for crew.:thumb:
     
  12. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Thanks suddensam, that helped a lot!
     
  13. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    My DS ,a tall swimmer who'd a longtime desire to row crew,had contacted the Plebe coach at USNA after he was a candidate this year. We were invited down for a very impressive visit to the boathouse and with the coaches. He was told that if he got the nomination he might have a really good chance. He found a local lake and an instructor and bought himself a good erg machine. He was successful in making "times" the Plebe coach gave him for freshman.
    The key is to be prepared academically, physically and vertically and to contact coaches.
    He did receive a nom to West Point and is proud to be an AROTC 4 yr awardee.
     
  14. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    My son was recruited for heavyweight crew w/out ever having touched an oar. He visited USNA as a h.s. junior and went to meet the plebe coach, who was not encouraging. At all.

    Son was offered NAPS, and one night there, while ironing his pants, an officer came into his room yelling, "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in a meeting for recruited athletes." Son said, "But I'm not a recruited athlete." Response: "YES, YOU ARE. FOR CREW. GET MOVING."

    This was how he learned he was recruited w/ no experience. He rowed for 2+ years @ Navy until an ERG injury sidelined him, but loved the experience, and regrets that his career was cut short. I should add that son has a great crew build (6'6"+ w/ freakishly long arms) and that kind of determined attitude you need to row in miserable weather. He was capt of his h.s. football team, so an experienced athlete. I should also add that crew coaches have changed since then (son graduated in '11) and things may have changed.

    Crew is an especially great sport for plebes, since it's such small band, no one seems sure when practice is, where rowers are supposed to be, etc. This is ideal cover for the occasional break from upperclass observation. Good luck!
     
  15. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    There are plenty of people who tried out for crew during PS, made the team, and excelled. As for getting recruited without prior experience, that is practically unheard of.
     
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  16. HopefulCadet-2018

    HopefulCadet-2018 New Member

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    I hope you don't mind if I jump in on your thread, but I was also wondering how hard it is to walk on for crew as a plebe. I just finished my novice year in rowing, and I will continue next year in our girl's varsity 8, so I have some experience, and I absolutely love rowing. I was wondering what try-outs are like at plebe summer for crew; do they have you do a 2k on the erg, or is it a test on the water, or something else? Thank you for answering my questions :smile:
     
  17. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

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    To quote one of my son's coaches, you aren't pulling hard enough.

    Cheers!
     
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  18. time2

    time2 Member

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    Getting recruited having never played a sport is very rare, where there are so many other candidates applying who already excel in that sport. Look at it this way, if you are a state champion in track/cross-country in h.s., why would the coach 'recruit' someone who never played that sport???? Don't confuse getting 'recruited' with being a walk-on and joining a team when you are plebe. There are several sports where you will have that opportunity.

    Remember also, there are no scholarships given to play sports at USNA. Playing a varsity level sport would be in addition to all of the various other demands on your time associated with attending any military academy.
     
  19. chickwebb

    chickwebb New Member

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    :shake: Yeah, this. The level of pain you have to endure - muscles, joints, backs, lungs - in order to do this well and perform at a high level is astounding. I feel sorry for any walk-on that thinks rowing is anything other than continual, self-inflicted agony.

    If my DS (Class of '17) had a nickel for every time he puked after an erg piece or race, he could pay off his ACE loan. I've watched him suffer mightily through four years of crew, so far. Thankfully it paid off in spades last weekend when his LGRC Lightweight 8's won the national title.

    DS is rowing at The Academy, BTW, but was not a recruited athlete.
     
  20. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

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    Congrats to your son on the championship. Great way to cap his HS rowing career. Your son and mine, who also rows as a lightweight, will be Navy 150s teammates. Go Navy, Beat Army. And Harvard. And Princeton. And Yale. And Georgetown, etc.
     
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