State College Area Rowing
The SCAR Experience Part 1: Amelia Wyckoff and Ava Fuller
Hello all! We are launching a regular blog series with some of the thoughts from our athletes and board members! This first installment is by Amelia Wyckoff and Ava Fuller.
After rowing for the first time, I was hooked. I told everyone I knew about my experience and learned how supportive the community was. Our high school assistant athletic director,Mr. Crispell suggested to me that I read The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, a non-fiction novel written by Daniel James Brown. It's served as the foundation of how I explain rowing as the ultimate team sport.
“What mattered more than how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with what the other fellows were doing. And a man couldn’t harmonize with his crewmates unless he opened his heart to them. He had to care about his crew.” I really thought about that quote a lot lately as we were finally in the position to recruit people for our founding team. To ask a bunch of girls to take a risk and start to train really hard in a garage (before we had space in the high school) for a team that never competed in a race before was a lot to ask. We had to find girls who were willing to open themselves up to the work and each other.
The Boys in the Boat talks a lot about something in rowing called "finding your swing"; it's when all the rowers are totally in sync. On a boat you can't have one super star athlete; you're only as good as your least powerful rower. No super star means no ego. It means lifting others up and really caring about each person on your team. I'm excited to see our team transition from the ergs which is so individual to the water as a team. I'm excited to see us take all that we've learned and find our swing. Follow along to see "the girls in the boat" and our progress!
After one week on the team, I am excited to be learning and building my skills right in time for our spring roster. I have learnt how to properly use an ERG (though my form is a work in progress), and I also have done my first 2k, which didn’t end up being so bad! What surprised me about joining the team was how technical rowing can be, the process of a stroke is something that has to be put into muscle memory - and it’s a lot harder than it looks! There is a lot of time put into making the form as good as it can be, and keeping pace with the rest of my teammates too. Luckily Coach John has been great at tolerating my constant barrage of questions about my form or what I can be doing better during practices. Something I like about rowing is that I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere of practice, all my teammates work hard and are very encouraging. Rowing relies heavily on not just your own strength and capabilities, but working together as one for a common goal. I think my teammates work really well together, and I am excited to see what becomes of the spring season! Ava Fuller
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