Question of the Day

I just read your post about intimidating your opponents, which is perhaps one of the greatest things I’ve seen, but I wanted to ask what are some of your favorite/most effective calls?

If we’re under a bridge or something, I love to say “attack now” because I think the echoing of my voice just heightens the intensity of the call. I borrowed “Do not sit, do not quit” from Pete Cipollone and use it during pieces or races to remind my boat that we can’t take a single stroke off. I also like quick, monosyllabic calls like “pop”, “BOOM”, “sharp”, etc. basically because I can say so much without actually having to say anything. I also like directly calling out people in my boat so doing bursts for or with each pair is a good way to do that.

Related: One of the varsity rowers told me about a certain race move/call-10 for pairs? Like having all 8 take a 10, but emphasis for specific pairs. I’m not sure how to call that, can you help me out? I was thinking maybe ” Alright, we’re all 8 we’re going to take a 10 by pairs.. in two… in ONE.. on THIS one, stern pair let’s see what you got! That’s one… two… 5 and 6 right here 3… 4..” and so on..” I don’t know if that’s how you call it…

I think the effectiveness of your calls lies not within the call itself though but in how you say it. It’s like when your parents tell you to do something in their normal voice and it’s like “yea ok, gonna get right on that” and then there’s the times when they tell you to do it and you can actually sense Satan in their voice. That’s one of the reasons why I try and constantly reiterate that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that makes the difference. If there’s no passion or intensity behind your voice, how and why would you expect the rowers to respond with intensity in their rowing? In the posts I’ve done on coxswain recordings I’ve tried to point out good and bad examples of this so check those out if you need some inspiration on what an effective tone sounds like.

Related: Coxswain recordings

The way to really make a call do something for your crew is to match your tone of voice to what you want to get out of the rowers. If you want the rowers to relax, your voice has to be relaxed. If you want them walking on a crew, the intensity of your voice should be increasing with each stroke that you get closer to or walk away from them. Your tone of voice is by far the biggest asset to your crew and how effective you are at utilizing it is what in turn makes your calls effective.

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