Frequently Asked Questions

What should I know about crew?

It's a lot of fun and a very physically demanding sport!

Crew is a spring sport.  We train in the fall and winter on land, then hit the water in Spring, as soon as the ice melts!  Crew is very team oriented and is a good way to make great friends.  Novice rowers have a distinct advantage over other high school sports because crew does not require previous experience, but begins in the freshman year of high school.

How does the Oakton Crew Club work?

During the first marking period we have a Crew Interest meeting to talk to everyone about the sport and the club. At the meeting we will announce information on the size of the team for the coming year, estimated number of openings, etc. Applications for the new season are not accepted until after the meeting.

Starting in November, we have winter conditioning for those who aren't participating in another sport. Winter conditioning is typically after school from 3:30-6:00p.m. (several different practice groups during that time period) Monday to Friday.  Water practice for crew starts at the end of February, weather permitting. In the past, the schedule has been similar to winter conditioning practices. The team typically has practice on Saturdays in March and regattas on Saturdays in April and May.  (Days and times for both winter conditioning and water practices may change from year to year - contact the coaches for details.)

How do I stay informed?

We use email and Twitter extensively, so please make sure that your email address (and those of your parents, if applicable) are accurately recorded when you join. And please follow us on twitter @oaktoncrew for all the latest news and updates.

I hear names like "VASRA" and "Sandy Run" all the time.  What are they?

Sandy Run is the name of our water practice facility, and is also the location of many regattas.  It's a beautiful site on the Occoquan River about ten miles south of Oakton.  For info on the park, click here.

VASRA is the VA Scholastic Rowing Association.  This organization runs all the regattas at Sandy Run as well as providing a community forum for high school rowing programs in our state.  See here for more.  

One of the ways that parents are expected to assist during the season is to perform one volunteer slot for each of VASRA and Oakton Crew.  VASRA slots in particular are generally at Sandy Run.

Where can I learn to row or cox?

You don't need to have rowed or coxed before joining Oakton.  The team is happy to teach anyone to row or cox.  But if you want to get a head start, there are some great rowing opportunities for off-season rowing.  Contact the head coach for details.

I Turned in the Forms - Now What?

Start by getting yourself in the best possible shape. Participation in another sport with a large aerobic component is very helpful.

What Do I Need for Water Practice?

For February and March especially, stay covered, stay warm with thin layers, and stay as dry as possible . Always bring a spare set of clothes in case you get wet.  Here's what you'll need until it warms up:

  • a long-sleeve polypropylene shirt (wicks away moisture, unlike cotton)
  • sweat pants and shorts
  • socks (2 pairs) and running shoes
  • crew jacket or similar
  • workout shirt for second layer
  • a hat, and thin gloves for land workouts
  • water or a sports drink

My family is under financial constraints.  Can I still row?

Oakton Crew's wants committed, motivated athletes regardless of your family's financial resources.  Contact your coach to discuss.  for example, there is help for Northern Virginia high school students on free/reduced lunch via the Julia Shew Memorial Rowing Scholarship fund, described here.