Question of the Day

What do you mean by “calling things with a purpose?” I took it to mean call things you know will be effective to the speed of the boat. Is that what you meant? I’m still confused about what to say during race calls.

Basically what I mean is that everything you say to your crew should be said with the goal of achieving some kind of result in return. You shouldn’t be talking just to talk because you assume that’s what a coxswain’s job is. You want to make calls that are going to get something out of your crew.

Think about when you’re writing a paper. There’s two ways to write it. The first is when you know nothing about the topic or it’s something that you’re completely uninterested in but you’ve got to find some way to meet that five page minimum. What do you end up doing? Rambling, dragging things out, and sounding like you have no clue what is even coming out of your mouth. The second way is when you understand the topic you’re writing about. Your sentences are clear and concise, your arguments are well thought out, and the delivery is confident and assertive. You sound like you know what you’re talking about. That’s how coxing should be.

Related: I know a coxswain’s number one job is to steer straight but one of my fellow rowers decided that sounding aggressive and making good calls is what MAKES a cox. There’s a girl who she says “just sounds like a cox” but hasn’t perfected steering/navigating yet. The view is that you can teach a cox to go straight/proper channels with time but you can’t teach them to sound passionate, aggressive, motivating, etc. What do you think?

Everyone can interpret it how they want but in essence you’re correct in that part of making purposeful calls is to say things that will help the boat move. “10 to walk two seats…” has more meaning that “power 10” because you’re attaching a specific, tangible goal to it. “I want to see us move on that crew” means absolutely nothing if you don’t tell them how you want to see them move. “Set the boat” is another one. Set the boat … how? Why is it unset? Where is it unset? What side is it leaning to? Who needs to do what? The bottom line is this: the more vague you are, the less you’re helping your crew. The more specific you are with what you want, the more of an asset you are to them.

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