What are some encouraging words I can use/what can I tell people to do so they keep their hands at even heights at the catch (sculling btw) without having to remind them every 5 strokes? I can feel the boat dropping to port every stroke because of this.
So, this is a good opportunity to point something out/clarify this to coxswains, just as an “FYI” – you don’t encourage people when it come to technique stuff. You tell them what’s wrong, what needs to be fixed, how to fix it, and when you want it fixed. Specific details are what it’s all about. Encouragement comes in during your motivational calls, when you’re neck in neck with other crews, about to drop the hammer for the sprint, etc.
Related: I just found this blog and THANK GOD. Today was my second day ever coxing for novice women’s 8 and it was terrifying making calls myself. My stern seat was yelling at me telling me what to say because I didn’t know what to do. With all 8 rowing we almost kept falling over and all I could say was “one catch, everybody watch the person in front of you.” How else would you recommend steadying the boat when we’re tipping?
I don’t have a ton of experience with sculling but I think I’d tell them basically the same stuff I tell sweep rowers. Remind them to keep their heads (eyes and chins specifically), shoulders, and chests up throughout the recovery and to support their bodies with the cores. If the eyes and/or chins are down, the hands will follow. Keep both hands relaxed (no death grips) but make sure they’re close together. Something I mentioned in a post the other day that I’d recently heard was to keep the knuckles of your right hand touching your left wrist on the recovery. Since you’re sculling, remind them specifically about keeping that right hand up and not dropping it down to their feet as they come up the slide.