The women’s rowing team at the University of Miami drills motivational phrases into the minds of the athletes every day.
“Make fast choices” and “Do everything with purpose” are two of its favorite mantras.
These words emphasize the importance of speed while getting the team ready for racing season.
Six mornings per week, the Hurricanes wake up before the sun rises. Before most students open their eyes, the rowing team has already finished a mile-and-a-half run and a two-hour row. After that, the team completes three extra afternoon sessions, including weight lifting and cardio.
The rowers are not working out – they are training. This demanding regimen requires a positive attitude and a strong team dynamic.
“Our team’s attitude is awesome,” said junior Ally Whitty. “Our goals that we bring to every practice are helping us develop and progress in the right direction. We’ve only been on the water for three weeks and all of our boats have already picked up speed.”
Fall races are long-distance. Each boat races against the clock instead of next to one another. In order to prepare for this, the team rows for miles at a time without stopping.
“We have to be able to maintain focus and power for these long pieces,” Whitty said. “We must remain positive and trust that everyone in your boat is pulling just as hard as you are. We take it one piece at a time to make it the best it can be.”
The Hurricanes will compete in four races this fall season: a scrimmage against the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Barry University, Head of the Indian Creek, Head of the Charles and Head of the Hooch.
“I am most excited for the Head of the Charles,” senior Devon Phelan-Patton said. “This is one of the biggest races in the rowing world. It is a staple of American rowing. I can’t wait to get our name out in the Northeast.”
This is the first year UM will host two races at their home course in Miami Beach. The scrimmage against Barry and UCF will be on Oct. 4, and the Head of the Indian Creek will be on Oct. 12.
“The U is already so much stronger this year than in years past,” Whitty said. “I can’t wait to show every one of our competitors in the ACC and in the country that.”