Adult Sweep Rowing – The progression

Adult Rowing- Sweep Programs and Progression

Novice Program
Novice program is open to anyone with the desire and physical ability to experience sweep rowing beyond Learn to Row (LTR), and for rowers with previous experience who are returning to the sport at a basic level. The primary focus of Novice is to continue rowers’ introduction to the sport in a friendly and supportive atmosphere, build fitness without injury, and acquire a set of basic skills enabling them to progress.

Embedded within each Novice session is coxswain training. All rowers in the Novice program will be expected to cox occasionally when dedicated coxswains are not available; the “fair coxing” guideline rotates program members to ensure coxing duties are spread across all rowers. Rowers will learn and practice coxing skills essential to ensure safety of the boat and crew during carrying, launching, steering and docking. Reasonable coxswain skills (sufficient to safely cox practice sessions) are required to graduate from the Novice program.

Novice is a great opportunity for a rower to build the skills they need for lifelong rowing in a team environment. General guideline is for Novices to stay in the Novice program for at least one (1) calendar year from the date of entry in order to establish a strong foundation before advancing. In rare circumstances, the coaching staff may advance a Novice rower early if the individual demonstrates strong fitness and accelerated mastery of rowing technique.
Novices have the unique opportunity to race in Novice categories for one (1) year after their first race.

Skills and Drills

If you already have some rowing experience and are eager to improve your technique, fitness level, and strength, join the Skills and Drills program to build your rowing skills and work in a group environment while enjoying the beauty and excitement of Boulder Reservoir.

To enjoy this class, you should speak with your Novice Sweeps coach about whether you are ready to move on, be able to demonstrate basic (not expert) proficiency in square blade rowing and feathering, and be ready to try continuous all-8 rowing. You should also understand and demonstrate knowledge of the finish, hands away, body over, half-slide, and catch.

Classes consist of regular technical critique, drills, and consistent rowing designed to test skills and build fitness. There will not be set line-ups, but coaches will group similar ability levels together. It may be possible to participate in local sprint or head races.

Prerequisite: Novice Sweeps or previous rowing experience.

Men’s and Women’s Competitive Team- “Comp Squad”
The “Comp” squad is a near year-round coached program giving experienced rowers aged 21 and older the opportunity to train seriously, receive top-notch coaching, and compete locally, regionally, and nationally.  Please speak to the head coach regarding questions about criteria/ suitability for this program.


About Greg Winkler

Greg started rowing in 2013 and wishes he had started years earlier.