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Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need experience to join?

NO!  Rowing is not like basketball- you can't easily try it out in your back yard. We are fully prepared for people to show up with no experience. We'll teach you everything you need to know!

What is practice like?

Every day, athletes gather at the boat cage (110 N B Street) to warm up as a team. Coaches announce line-ups, and athletes bring safety launch equipment and oars to the dock. Athletes then walk their boats down to the dock. Once the boats are on the water, athletes will warm up with technical drills and then complete the days workout. At the end of practice, athletes carry up their boats, wipe them down, and then bring all of the other equipment up and put it away. When everything is away, the team meets as a whole to discuss practice.  In inclement weather and during winter, we condition at our gym (228 Court Street, Hamilton).  

Do I need to know how to swim?

While ending up in the water is rare, we require all athletes to be able to tread water and get themselves back to the boat if they do end up in the water. If you end up out of the boat, the boat and the oars serve as floatation devices, so all you need to be able to do is stay with the boat.

Do I need to be at practice everyday?

We strongly encourage attendance at all practices, but we understand that this can be difficult.  Arrangements can be made with the coaches to work around schedules as much as possible.  Attendance is important because as boat lineups form, the team becomes dependent on each member to be there or practice for the entire boat will be affected. The more you practice, the better you get. The better you get, the more competitive you can be at a regatta!

Am I too short to row?

No! We have rowers of all shapes and sizes, fitness, and abilities.  A very important team member is the coxswain of each boat.  These individuals are generally petite and of short stature.  The coxswain has a vital role on the team. They guide the boat safely down the river or race course, are responsible for executing race plans, motivate rowers, and with practice, have the ability to greatly effect each race.  No matter your height, you will be able to row and/or be a coxswain!

What should I wear/bring to practice?

Athletes should wear close-fitting shorts or spandex, a comfortable shirt, a hat/visor, sunglasses, socks, and shoes they do not mind getting wet and can be easily removed (Crocs or slides are great options). In colder months, rowers wear layers, but those need to be close-fitting as well. You will not need shoes to wear in the boat, but you will want sneakers for land workouts.   Athletes should also have plenty of water and a set of wrenches is helpful but not mandatory ( 7/16” wrench, 10mm wrench, and an adjustable wrench). As we are outside for practice, please be prepared for the weather (raincoats, layers, spare clothing to put on after practice, etc.). For races, you will need a GMRC unisuit.  For more information on uniforms please see the Uniform Liaison. 


No. Some of our athletes choose to row all year and some prefer to row one or two seasons. However, like any sport or skill, the more consistently you practice the faster you will learn.


Many of our athletes carpool to and from practice. If you are looking for a ride, reach out to the other athletes in your area. 

Do coxswains exercise with the rowers?

Yes!  Coxswains are encouraged to exercise with the team on land days, before practice, and during the winter indoor season.  They are also encouraged to row during the summer program to improve their knowledge of the rowing stroke.

Can I row and still participate in other sports?

Yes. Some of our athletes choose to participate in fall and spring sports and row during their off season or vice-versa.

Can I try rowing before committing to the program?

Absolutely! All potential athletes are welcome to try the program for two weeks free of charge. To do this, please register on the website and select the "pay offline" option. Then come down to the boat cage for your first practice. We will reach out to you after your trial period to see if you would like to continue the season

Isn't rowing an upper body sport?

Actually rowing is a full body workout with a majority of the effort occurring in the legs. The seats in the boat move back and forth on wheels to allow the rowers to press off with their quads and glutes, the strongest muscle groups in the body. 

Where are the races (regattas)?

Great Miami Crew typically competes in 4-5 regattas per Spring and Fall season.  During the summer, there are usually 2-3 a la carte regattas available to those interested.  Each season we go to both local and regional regattas (in Columbus, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Oak Ridge, TN). Depending on performance, there may be opportunities to attend races as far away as Massachusetts or Florida.

How do I register?

Go to and use the drop down menu to register for any of our programs. Then, you must sign the US Rowing waiver. 

How do I sign my US Rowing waiver?

Please use this link to complete the waiver:


Race days for rowing are a lot like race days for cross country. They are LONG days! Athletes should be dropped off at the trailer where they will spend the majority of the day. There will be a team tent at most regattas where parents and athletes can relax at during the day and where meals and snacks will be prepared and served. Depending on the course, you may only be able to see  small portion of the race. Check and the GMRC website for information on your child’s race times. It is a good idea to bring a camp chair, food, and water to make your experience more comfortable. As most regattas are held at public parks, there will typically be porta-johns near the parent tent area. The coaches ask that parents please refrain from visiting the trailer. There will be lots of boats moving around and it can be a safety hazard for the parents and athletes.


The coaches send out emails to the team using the registration list. If you are not receiving any group emails, log into the SportsEngine account used to register your athlete. Once you're logged in, you can open your user profile by clicking your initials in the top right corner of the browser window and selecting "Go to My Account". This will lead you to a page titled "Profile Information". The email addresses listed under "Email Address 1" and "Email Address 2" will receive any bulk emails from the coaches. These can be updated at any time. If you have any trouble with this process, contact SportsEngine and ask for instructions on updating the email address associated with your SportsEngine account.


Contact Us: Great Miami Rowing Center

PO Box 1035 Hamilton OH 45012

Phone: (513) 857-2494