I’m being forced to bow a quad in an upcoming practice. I’ve been sculling for a week and I feel a little intimidated. I don’t even know which oar I have to put pressure on to turn the boat in my desired direction. The only time I’ve had any experience was when I was in a double with a varsity member. I didn’t learn the basics, but from being in that position I learned how to sound confident. Do you have any tips?
Take your time. If you’re not sure what to do, ask. That is always preferable to guessing, even if it takes a few seconds out of practice. Try and figure out what you’re doing during practice before you get on the water so that you have a chance to go over the practice plan with your coach and can get an idea of what you need to say. Assuming your coach is going out with you, it might be better to just let him tell the crew what to do so you can focus on rowing and steering. That’s how it normally works with novice coxswains.
If you want to turn the boat to starboard (your left), you’ll need to row with your right oar. If you want to turn the boat to port (your right), you’ll need to row with your left oar. Basically whichever way you want to turn, row with the opposite oar.