In the boat, when you’re calling a rower out to make a change, is it better to call them by their seat or name? A rower told me that by using a name it puts them on the spot – but isn’t that the point to make a change?
If I know specifically who needs to make the change, I always call them out by name. The only time I say their seat number is when I’m with a new crew and don’t know everyone’s names yet. I make a serious effort to learn everyone’s name as soon as possible though because I think the rowers listen to you more if you call them by name vs. by number. Plus, I think it’s the height of laziness to call rowers you’ve worked with for longer than like, a week, by their seat numbers.
Related: I have been told by my rowers that I need to call them out directly more, rather than general corrections to the boat as a whole. I cox collegiate men but I’m not afraid to push them around. My problem is that I am having trouble actually seeing what the problem is. I can tell that catches are off, someone is rushing, but I can’t always tell exactly who it is. Any suggestions for improving this skill?
Regardless of whether you use their individual seat or their name, they’re still being put on the spot … and yes, in order to get the change you want, you have to tell specific people what change to make. Some rowers get pissed when you call them out, to which I respond to with an eye roll and a “shut up”. How else do they expect you to tell them what you want? I think they’re more likely to make a change when they hear you specifically talking to them. Even though everyone should know their seat number, they don’t always associate themselves with that number, so if you say “5, lift your hands at the catch” they might not do it, whereas if that rower hears “Sarah, lift your hands at the catch” they’re more inclined to do it since they know exactly who you’re talking to.