Question of the Day

As a coxswain I do all the workouts (to keep weight down and to encourage/have respect from rowers) but none of the other coxswains do. Do you think I should ask them to join? I just feel when we are concentrating to do 50 push-ups and they are laughing they kinda bugs me / gets me off track, I don’t want them to sacrifice our rowers work outs. I know the rowers are quite annoyed also … should I tell them to leave join, stop, etc?

If you’re a varsity coxswain and they’re younger than you, you can definitely tell them to either take it seriously or go away but if you’re younger or the same age as them, they might not take you seriously and think that you’re just being a jerk or sucking up or whatever. In that situation, I would talk with your coach and explain how you and the rowers feel like they’re undermining the workouts, the team, etc. by being distracting and doing whatever they do. Hopefully they can talk with them and handle it from there.

Related: So I’m a novice coxswain and I’m really not athletic. The other coxswains told me that during winter training we do everything the rowers do but because I haven’t been erging and working out with the team, I’m scared I won’t be able to keep up with them. What should I do?

I wouldn’t ask them to join because if they’re screwing around just watching, the chances that they take it seriously when they actually have to do it is slim to none. This ties back to coxswains half-assing it and pissing the rowers off. Coxswains should never not be doing something when they’re at practice. Whether they’re working out with their boat, coxing people on the erg, taking times down, watching video, helping the coaches, etc. there’s always something to do.

In this situation, you are the more mature one. Regardless of the pecking order, find a solution to your problem and be OK with how you handled the situation. Ask your coach for advice on what to do and go from there. If he says he’ll handle it, leave it at that. If he tells you to tell them to join in or leave, do it. Be confident in how you say it and make them understand that in this moment, they are not being valuable members of the team and no one appreciates their attitudes or apparent lack of interest. Situations like this suck, but they happen. How you handle it says a lot and really helps the rowers get a feel for the kind of leader and coxswain you are.
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