Question of the Day

What are some calls you make during a 2k when you know the other crews can hear you to get in their head and psych them out?

I usually tend to ad lib as we go along and just go with what I see but usually I’ll pick out something I notice about their rowing and try to capitalize on that. Sometimes I’ll say something about the entire boat (their rowing is sloppy, they’re looking at us, they went out too hard, etc.) or my personal favorite, I’ll pick out a specific rower in the other boat and then talk to the rower in that same seat in my boat. I’ll tell them something I notice about that rower and then tell the rower in my boat to get us up to or past that seat.

If we’re locked in with them in a dead heat, I simply tell my crew that this is where we’re gonna break them, right here, this stroke. I make sure I say it loud enough that the other boat hears me and I always make it a point to look directly at their coxswain when I say it. That’s the only time I’ll let on to another crew that I’m about to take a burst, just to tease them and let them think they can counter it. (It’s never worked because we’re calm whereas they’re frantic.) Sometimes I expect us to be able to get past certain crews pretty easily and we don’t, so I’ll end up saying something like “We’re gonna walk and we’re gonna walk NOW!!”.

One time I was so bored at the starting line so I just picked one of the coxswains beside me and stared at her the entire time we were staging and while the official was doing the countdown start. She kept giving me the weirdest looks but I know I got in her head because as soon as the official said “GO” I snapped forward like everything was normal and she was still at the start, completely confused. They were about three seats behind us from the very beginning because of it. I definitely thought she was going to protest it but she didn’t. One of the officials who was on the starting platform behind us came over to us after we crossed the line and said that was one of the most intense and crazy tactics he’s ever seen a coxswain use to psych out their opponents and congratulations, because clearly it worked.

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