Woodson’s Crew Prepares For Season

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Cavan Griffin, Staff Writer

With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting the way people go out and practice sports, many precautions need to be taken. Luckily the crew team can still practice their form and get stronger thanks to machines called the ergometer, ergs for short, which are machines that they use to simulate rowing. These ergs have proved quite valuable in keeping the athletes in shape. While practice isn’t as long as last year, they’re still going strong with hopes that they’ll be able to get on the water and row this season.

Crew practice out on the court. Photo courtesy of Cavan Griffen.

The crew team has had to change up things quite a bit to fit into the CDC’s guidelines for working out, which also means spreading the ergs out, roughly ten feet each. In years prior, the team was able to work out in both cafeterias, as the cafeterias were quite cramped. Being outside also helps athletes focus and breathe some fresh air, instead of the sweaty, musky air that they’re used to. If it begins to rain before the team’s practice, practice will be canceled and the team will host a Google Meets meeting to replace the practice. 

Being on the ergs isn’t as simple as just hopping on and rowing. Practice still has guidelines that the rowers need to follow. Rowers need to wear masks and space out, to reduce transmission range of breath. Ergs also need to be sanitized by the coaches before they can be used again or put away. Plans for spacing out the ergs have been discussed for when the athletes do harder pieces and need to breathe more.  

Ergs are extremely costly and useful pieces of equipment. While they vary in price depending on the age of the model, they’re usually priced at around 600-900 dollars and weigh roughly 50 lbs. The ergs themselves are quite long and awkward to move around, despite the ergs having wheels. There’s a handle near the middle of the machine, which is pulled to simulate rowing with an oar. 

With the help of the ergs, the crew team can stay fit and keep their form intact for when they get on the water this spring. With coaches and coxswains helping rowers keep themselves focused, they’re sure to be ready to get back onto the water.