With the autumn season over, Freshman crew candidates have switched over to the indoor tank at Newell Boathouse.
Freshman coach Harvey Love says the best system of teaching men to row is to give them individual as well as mass instruction. During the fall, the Freshmen learned to handle an oar on the Leviathan and later they began going out in the shells. This was only a general indoctrination.
Cold weather ended outdoor rowing last week, and forced the retreat to Newell. The tank, set in the middle of a large pool, is similar to a shell. Thus an athlete can keep on learning the fundamental techniques of rowing with the coaches at his elbow to point out just how it's done.
Several mirrors are placed beside the tank so rowers can watch themselves, while coaches Tom Bolles, Harvey Love, and Bert Haines shout advice from the side ramps. Right now the sessions are informal. Each candidates reports at his leisure and rows for 15 minutes with seven other men.
The important thing is that every man must learn the basic motions accurately. He must learn to handle his oar and move his body in coordination and with the rest of the crew.
Sometime next term, when they have their fundamentals cold, the Freshmen will be put on a regular training schedule and their pace will be gradually stepped up.
Then, as soon as the ice breaks up in March, shells will hit the river again. From then on it will be straight training right up to the first race in April.
Since more than 200 candidates reported for training this fall, Coach Love feels that this year's crew may be above average. However, the best oarsmen will not be chosen until all first-year athletes have been tried out in the tank and on the river.
Freshmen coxes won't be idle during the winter either. Part of the work of a good coxswain is knowing just how well which men are rowing and which ones are slowing down the shell. Accordingly, the coxes will also work on the machines this winter.