We don’t seat race coxswains on my team so our boating is based mostly off of what the coaches think, which normally is fair and just, but recently rowers have started voicing their opinions and a coxswain who just moved up to varsity this spring season has the V8 because the stroke seat said she liked the coxswain after one day. Is there anything I (a third year coxswain) can do about this? Or should I just focus on myself?
I definitely think you have a valid reason to talk with your coach but as I’ve said to everyone else that has had a similar issue, the goal here is to not prove why the other coxswain is unworthy, it’s to prove why you are worthy of the V8+. Talk yourself up instead of talking her down.
Ask your coach what they consider specifically when deciding who gets which boat. Ask them what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are and where they’d like to see improvements. If and when they ask you why you’re asking you can tell them that you’re a third year coxswain, obviously the V8+ is a goal (I’m assuming…?), and seeing a first year coxswain get it is motivating you to work harder. Simple as that. Keep the pissed off bitterness to yourself and let it come out in your coxing – I swear this is the whole reason why they let us yell and give us a microphone to do it into.
Also talk to the V8+ and ask them what they like about that coxswain. What does she do that resonates well with them? Talk to her as well. Just because she got the upper boat doesn’t mean she’s a crappy person or someone you can’t learn from and/or be friends (or at the very least, friendly) with. Even if/when you’re friends with each other, coxing is very much all about “keeping your friends close and your enemies closer”. There’s nothing wrong with that either, as long as you don’t get bitchy or catty about it.