Abigail Brooks has spent her life trying to win an Olympic rowing medal, sacrificing friendship, love and normalcy along the way. When she is only named an alternate on the Olympic team, she quits in haste. Defeated, Abi moves back home with her widowed, workaholic mother. Tension builds as Abi's mother urges her to move on from the rowing life to which Abi's father, a coach, introduced her. Unable to do so, but needing an immediate job, Abi seizes an open crew coach position at her alma mater, Union High, where her former boyfriend, Geoff, is the head of athletics. Abi trains her high school rowers in an obsessive fashion, taking two girls, Hannah and Susan, under her wing. After the girls lose an important regional race, Abi reinvents herself as a coach, and, in the process, learns to have fun again both on the water and off.