Being a novice cox, I can’t wrap my head around this. A varsity cox switched with me so she was coxing one of the novice boats and they went faster and harder than ever! I feel like my intensity is ok … but it’s different with her I guess, can you explain it? Thanks!
This is totally normal. I coxed the novice 8+ when I was a senior and part of the reason why I think they were able to go as hard as they did is because I knew how, what, and when to say things to them that a novice coxswain wouldn’t have known to say or do. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just that she has more experience and has her voice more “developed” than you do. She’s also got a better technical eye so she can pinpoint things easier which means she can make the calls to fix them faster.
Intensity is only a small part of being a coxswain. Don’t focus so much on how much better your crew did without you and with her – instead, talk to her and ask her what she said, what she did, what she saw, etc. Pick her brain, take notes, and then the next time you go out with them, use everything you learned to help make whatever changes they made while rowing with her stick.