Coxswain Recordings, pt. 4

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3

15 on, 15 off
This is bordering on angry with her tone of voice but overall the intensity is good. The only thing that could have made this better (and maybe justified her almost-angry tone of voice) is if she’d been sharper with the counting instead of drawing out each number.

Drills & Steady State
“Swing and run”…that’s a great way to describe cut the cake. Stealing that.

  • 1:28-1:31, she did a great job of changing her tone of voice to reiterate what she was saying about hooking the blade in.
  • 2:04-2:08 would be a good call to make during a race.
  • 2:12, GREAT use of the puddles. She also does a really nice job throughout the recording of calling out the rowers for individual things (sharper catches, etc.).

Boat Race coxswains
This is another short clip but it’s got some audio of the Boat Race coxswains. This recording is from 2011 – the female coxswain is Liz Box (Cambridge) and the male coxswain is Sam Winter-Levy (Oxford). Nothing super noteworthy in this clip, just thought it’d be good to share. (Thanks to Zoe De Toledo for letting me know who the coxswains were!)

Chelsea Lucas 2008 World Championships
If this recording doesn’t give you goosebumps, check your pulse and make sure you’re actually still alive. The intensity at the start is great. Notice how they shift from a 40 to a 38 to a 36 1/2? Whether or not that was planned, if your stroke doesn’t get the rate to where you want it (or can’t) use your voice to help them. Call the shift and draw it out to the length you want the slides to be – “shift to a 36 on…this one – shiiiiiiift BAM”. She does a great job of telling their location on other crews throughout the race, specifically where they are seat-wise. Her rowers could be blindfolded the entire race and still know exactly where they are – that’s what you want!

  • 2:07, you can sense her tone is starting to change and then at 2:14 she just HITS you with that next level of intensity. Love the “lay it on” call. As they start walking through crews she continues to do a really good job of telling them they’re moving and by how much with each stroke. “Let’s close this gap, baby” – another call I loved.
  • 3:51, “make them remember this”. Great motivating call. Notice how they’re progressively walking through Germany and up on Romania?
  • 4:44 is the BEST part of this recording. You’ll hear why when you get there.
  • 5:10, “we’re 500m away from a World Championship”. Epic call. If that doesn’t push your crew, nothing will. Save ones like this though for the BIG regattas. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice that they went from 4 seats down on Romania to 5.5 seats up.

The ending is crazy frantic but they just won a world championship so it’s warranted. Insane coxing. So good. So good.

University of Washington 2012 V8+ Grand Final
This isn’t actually a recording. It’s a video montage of some of the footage from IRA’s last year overlaid with some of Sam Ojserkis’s audio. Since Washington is easily one of the top programs in the country, I thought it was worth sharing. “No one’s going to hold our pace” – that’s confidence. I like the definitive “OVER!” at the end too.

2012 Fairfield Crew V8 Sacred Heart Invitational
*sigh* Where to begin. This is more of a personal preference, but I’m not a fan of counting down your 10s or 20s. I tend to count up unless I’m doing the last five strokes of the race. It’s a psychological thing. Drawing out the numbers too…*cringe*. Rowers, you can tell me if I’m wrong here, but if I was rowing and my coxswain was saying “oooone, twooo, threeeee, fourrr” it would make unconsciously start rowing sloppy. My catches would be less crisp and I’d probably start rowing it in. This is why I try to reiterate to coxswains to keep their counting short, staccato, and right on the catches. When he called the shift, listen to how his voice changes. How bored does he sound?? Also, the last time I checked “4” doesn’t come after “7”.

  • 2:15, when his stroke starts talking to him it sounds like he says something like “charge everybody up” – your rowers shouldn’t be telling you to do that. During practice, if you’re a novice, sure. During a race? No.
  • 2:16-2:28NO.
  • 4:33, I don’t know what a “ratio 20 for puddle clearance and length” means, but I like the idea of calling a burst of five for puddles, especially in the middle of the race when the fatigue really starts to set in.
  • 5:18, “where are we?!” – proof that rowers want to know where we are. Make sure you’re telling them their location at all times. When you can’t think of anything else to say, tell them where they’re at.
  • 5:58, “Iona’s closing”…so DO something about it.

Last thing – if you listen closely at the end after he calls the last three strokes, the official doesn’t beep the horn until they’ve already paddled for two strokes. Always row all the way through the finish line, meaning do not paddle until you have passed the finish line buoys.

2010 ACRA National Championship Men’s JV8+
I’m so excited I found this. I love this recording because the dubstep version is awesome. Yea. Dubstep coxswain recordings. WHAAAT. Seriously though, tell me that isn’t awesome. It got added to my iPod about 0.1042 seconds after listening to it. Anyways, back to the actual recording. Overall I’d say it’s a good piece. Not great but still pretty good.Her intensity, obviously, is awesome throughout the entire piece. The one thing that really bugged me is that she never said anything to her stroke seat about him breaking his arms early. I can’t listen to this recording without seeing him and his t-rex arms.

  • 1:12, “attack the length in the first 1000m”. Good call, gives them a specific task to focus on.
  • 1:13, “scare the shit out of Washington”, love that.
  • 1:21, she reminds them of the wind hitting them from this side which is good because it allows them compensate for it.
  • 1:51, “Michigan State’s trying to make a move” and 3:02, “Purdue’s not walking away”, would have been great spots to take a 10 to push them back and/or walk. I don’t know why she keeps telling them “long and heavy” because you don’t want to be heavy…you want to be light. Heaviness = sluggishness. She talks about where Washington is a lot but doesn’t call for a 10 or 20 to walk or do anything about it. Don’t let those opportunities slip away!
  • 4:11, good job telling them what’s coming. Notice how even though they’re down to Purdue, she’s focusing on the more realistic goal of getting through Washington? Priorities.
  • 6:38, best coxing call in the history of coxing calls ever.

University of Delaware Coxswain POV
The part I specifically want you to pay attention to is from 1:44-2:05. She’s short, concise, to the point, intense, and doesn’t stop talking. Her calls in between each stroke are spot on and you know what she means even though she’s not saying a lot. After the starts when they’re doing the rate shifts, she does a good job demonstrating what I mean about drawing your voice out at 2:11 and 2:27.


21 thoughts on “Coxswain Recordings, pt. 4


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