School, practice, study, sleep. Space Coast Crew rowers experience the same routine almost every day. With practice five days a week and optional practices on Mondays, players often find it hard balancing school with the sport.
“Sometimes you need a day to take a break,” senior Emily Eastwood said. “All the coaches ask is that the rowers are there for 85 percent to 90 percent of the practices. So maybe once or twice a month people skip to get their work done or just put their life back together.”
But skipping crew practices comes with consequences.
“In this sport if you attend practices, it shows in your rankings,” Eastwood said.
Coaches give better ranking and seats to those who put the sport first. Those who work the hardest are rewarded which sometimes encourages rowers to put the sport before academics.
“I feel like having so much practice has had somewhat of an impact on my academic life,” senior Moriah Padgett said. “Practice nearly every day throughout the entire school year is very time-consuming, and I have to stay up later to do my work and on occasion may have less time to study.”
Both Padgett and Eastwood agree the busy practice schedule is necessary.
“All other teams are practicing five or six times days a week, some of them twice a day at some points in the season,” Padgett said. “In order to be competitive, we need to have just as many practices as they do.”
By Amanda Lally