Rowing has been a life-changing event for our child. Guiding him to Winter Park Crew is one of the greatest gifts we have given him as parents.
Beyond the substantial physical fitness advantages inherent in crew’s total body workout, we have found in rowing incalculable emotional and psychological benefits for our son. He has become an elite student-athlete. We have seen him learn and fully comprehend the value of hard work, discipline and dedication – all life lessons that are harder and harder to come by in this day and age.
From rowing at Winter Park, he has developed a remarkable capacity for strenuous and demanding work, and an enthusiasm for taking on even the toughest challenges. There is a new discipline in him to fight through obstacles, such as the pain he feels in the last 200 meters of a race. There is a commitment and dedication to excellence that is serving him well on the water and in the classroom. And then there’s the selflessness and sacrifice that he’s shown as a teammate working to achieve perfect harmony with the other oarsmen in his boat — the harmony that is the mark of any successful team, and one we often see with the championship crew teams at Winter Park.
Here’s a description of what a race looks like for an oarsman, courtesy of Thomas E. Weil, Yale Lightweights ’70 that captures better than we can the experience ahead for our children:
“Start, and you do your best ceaselessly, without let up or rest, stretching yourself to your physical and mental limits, knowing that you are relying on every other teammate to do the same on every stroke, just as they are relying on you.”
There’s no better preparation for the challenges our children will face in their lives.
Rowing has helped our son build a mental toughness and focus that are foundational to the self-esteem he has earned for himself and the success he is having in his life. In the end, being on a crew team is about helping our student-athletes build healthy minds and healthy bodies. The very good news is: it works, especially at Winter Park!
— Parents of a Winter Park Crew Student-Athlete
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