Am I Letting My Team Down?

Brendan O'Toole

New Member
I'm a senior in high school and I decided to join my high school's rowing team this spring, because I want to join my college's rowing team. I am the only novice currently on the team. I'm built like a rower and I have been a serious XC runner for several years, so the guys on the team were initially really excited to have my on the team, and said that I could help make them faster (which is one of the reasons why I joined the team).

The erg season went well (I had one of the fastest 2k tests on the team), but I struggled once I got into a boat. I feel like I always mess up the set, and can't string good strokes together, so I end up skying or crabbing on a regular basis. I feel like my teammates are getting frustrated with me (they sometimes mumble things in the boat when I mess up, I heard a few of them talking about me behind my back recently), even though they used to be excited about the idea of me rowing.

I feel like I'm letting them down. I feel bad about the times I mess up, but I'm also getting tired of knowing that people dread when I'm switched into the boat, and get annoyed when they have to be my pair partner.

The team can fill up two boats without me, so I'm wondering if I should quit the team and wait to start rowing until I get to college, when there will probably be more novices. I've never quit something like this before (I like to think of myself as someone who pushes through tough situations, but in this case, is it the right thing to do? Am I letting the team down? Am I holding them back? Will I get to a point this season where I'll be helping the team? If not, am I being selfish by staying on the team?