Rowing FAQs

If you’re interested:
Please click on this link and fill out our team questionnaire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I try rowing at Kansas?

  • The opportunity to be a Division 1 Varsity Athlete
  • The opportunity to compete for a Big 12 Conference Championship
  • To compete as one of 550 student-athletes at KU

Do I need rowing experience to try out for the team?
No.  93% of our team never rowed before college and probably 75% of all collegiate rowers never rowed before college. We take students who have been successful in other areas of their life and team them how to row and be collegiate student-athletes.

What is the tryout procedure?
The first step of the tryout is to fill out the questionnaire (link is above). The first step of tryouts is to attend the informational meeting held the first week or two of school typically held at Wagnon Student Athlete Center in Hadl Auditorium. The following week physical tryouts begin. During tryouts you will learn how to row in a boat and on our ergometers (rowing machines) with proper technique.  We will also run a variety of circuits and activities to determine your athletic ability.  We are looking for overall athleticism and a positive attitude.

How can I prepare for tryouts?
Rowing is an endurance sport so the more you can build on your base endurance fitness the better off you will be. Running and swimming are the best ways to build endurance. Other activities such as body weight exercises (push-ups, squats, core work) will also help you prepare. We do not recommend getting on an indoor rowing machine because bad habits form quickly and we would like to teach you the proper technique at tryouts.

What do you look for in a Rower?
Someone with a combination of the following:

  • Height (5’9” or taller generally make a good rower)
  • Athletic background
  • Team player
  • Competitiveness
  • Coachable and willingness to learn

What is a Coxswain?
The coxswain is responsible for steering, calling commands, assisting with technique, executing the race plan and providing motivation for the rowers during racing and practices.  The coxswain is small in size, usually under 115 lbs., large in heart and competitive in spirit.

Does it cost money to tryout and row?
Women’s rowing is a fully funded NCAA sport so there are no team dues. As a student-athlete affiliated with the Varsity team you will have access to athletic trainers, academic advisors, tutors and athletic facilities without having to pay any fee.  You will be issued gear for training and competition.  When traveling for competition or training trips, transportation, lodging and meals are covered by the Kansas Athletic Dept.

What support services are available for student-athletes?

  • Academic Advisor – assists with enrollment, selecting courses, making sure student-athletes are staying on track academically
  • Tutors – Kansas Athletics employs 100+ tutors and that are available from 7am-10pm.  Regardless of your class/major, they will do their best to find a tutor for you.
  • Student Athlete Development – This department provides many resources for all student-athletes.  Career development services offer career fairs, resume building, mock interviews and everything one needs as they progress through college into their career.  They also work with teams and individual student-athletes on leadership development.
  • Medical support – Full-Time athletic trainer, student athletic trainers, medical doctors, rehab facilities, nutritionists and sport psychologists

I see there is a Crew team on campus.  Are Rowing and Crew the same thing?
Yes, they are the same sport.  However, at the University of Kansas, Crew is a co-ed club team that is run out of rec. services and semester dues are required to participate. Women’s rowing is a fully-funded sport.