Question of the Day

Is there some sort of quote/song/inspirational thought you have to help boost your mood when you’re depressed/after a bad practice/race? And how do coaches “pick” novice coxswains? Is it initially by size, then trait/abilities? Or do they actually take the time to “watch” who they’re thinking of coxing before deciding? I think last year on my team our coach chose the two smallest people but for the first two weeks (on land) watched us interact with each other.

I don’t have anything specific, I just turn the radio up and try to use the music and the drive home to help clear my head. It’s a good way for me to zone out and let everything else go.

Related: What do you like to do to cheer yourself up after a lost race or tough practice?

I think coaches do both of what you said; some choose by size, some by traits and abilities, and others look at both. There are way too many coaches that pick coxswains based purely on how small they are which they then come to find out has no bearing whatsoever on how skilled they are. Ultimately, I think a coach would rather have a slightly taller coxswain who has the personality and affinity for coxing vs. a small person who has neither. I know I would.

During winter training I think they do watch the coxswains to see how they interact with the team, if they’re capable of taking charge and leading them through a circuit, do they show up on time (or at all), etc. Once they get out on the water, he/she will watch to see how quickly they pick up steering, how confident and trustworthy they are, how safe they are, do they follow the rules of the river, etc. If they put a novice in the varsity boat to get some experience, he might ask those rowers for a quick opinion on how they thought he/she did. In the end they’ll take all that information and make a decision from there.

Related: Why would a coach put novices with varsity rowers in a boat for training? What benefits would that get the novices, and wouldn’t that be very frustrating for varsity rowers? I’m not one of those novices and I really wish I was but I don’t really know in what parts of my rowing it would help, if you know what I mean.

That might not be how every coach does it but it’s how I’d do it. If you’re curious why you weren’t boated or why you were put in the boat you were, ask your coach. Unless you have seriously messed up somewhere along the line and know that that’s probably the reason why you’re not in a higher boat, the only person who can give you that kind of insight is the person who made the lineups.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking why you were put in certain lineups either as long as you aren’t petty or accusatory about it – “Why did you put me in that boat? Those rowers suck!” or “I am such a better coxswain than Emily (with zero evidence to backup that statement)” are two easy ways to get on your coach’s (and teammates) bad side. Done correctly, it’s a great way to get feedback on how you’re doing so far and what you can improve on so that the next time lineups are made, you can possibly move up a boat.

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