Question of the Day

During races my coxswain always tells us we’re on, say, 5 seat when in reality we’re even or sometimes even behind. Other than that she’s a good coxswain but we can obviously tell that she is giving us the wrong information. We have politely asked her to be honest but she just keeps saying that she does it to keep our morale up. We’d all so much rather know where we actually are! How do we handle this? Thanks!

Ugh coxswains, stop doing this!! There it is in writing – rowers want the truth, not what you think they want to hear.

This goes past the point of just not listening to what her crew wants. For me, it’s now an issue of respect. Yea, you’re the one calling the shots but you’ve got to respect the rowers enough to listen to them when they ask you to do something differently because whatever you’re doing isn’t working. I’m glad you guys have asked her politely but now might be the time to ask her a little more firmly. Sometimes it’s necessary to be a little harsh to get your point across. Just tell her straight out that her coxing is great but she’s not helping you and it’s not boosting morale when she tells you things that you can blatantly see aren’t true. Tell her why it doesn’t help you and the reasons you have for wanting to know where you are, regardless of whether your position is good or bad.

Related: I want to try to get this straight [no pun intended]: When boats are racing, if our bow ball is on the other boat’s stern deck, you call that or say like “riding their stern?” and when it’s cox to cox it’s “lined up?” And if the cox is next to the other boat’s 6 seat or is it when our bow ball takes their 6 seat? Thanks!

If talking to her (again) doesn’t do anything, talk to your coach. You’ve given her several opportunities now to make a change and she hasn’t respected your requests. Hopefully your coach can understand where you’re coming from and talk to her. Maybe hearing it from a more authoritative figure will spark something.

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