By Liza Dickson
While it isn’t everyone’s favorite thing, it is a huge benefit that taking turns in the coxswain seat is the norm at SRA. I have worked at several clubs that struggled to find coxswains and were not willing to take this on. I ended up coaching A LOT of masters’ practices from the coxswain seat. Here are some basic tips that I think will help everyone out, or at least ease some anxiety the next time you are in the coxswain seat.
The first thing I talk about with anyone before they cox is their priority list of responsibilities:
Number 1 and Number 2 are so important to me that I usually do all the commands for my new coxswains when possible. That way they can focus on safety and steering. While that may not be possible as you jump into the seat, don’t worry about complicated commands and motivation until you feel comfortable with safety and steering – especially if it’s dark. Rowers may be rowers, and put some pressure on you otherwise, but remember your first two priorities!
Thanks to Matt and Ethan who helped me compile the list. As you all know, every coach is different. We tried to stay with general tips that most coaches feel are important.
STEERING – it takes practice!
MOTIVATION – once you have a handle on all the above, you can start some motivational calls.