Question of the Day

Hi, I am a exchange student and I joined our crew team. Since I am pretty small I am a coxswain. I am now moved up into our first boat but I never know what to say during a race. The problem is I am not a native speaker and so I have even more problems to make good/clear calls. Do you have any tips for Nationals (YES we qualified) and Stotesbury?

Do you have a race plan? If you have a race plan that you can go off of, that tends to make it easier to come up with calls vs. not having one and doing everything completely on the fly. It allows you to have a “skeleton” to go off of for about 50% of the race and then the other 50% you fill in as you go based on what you’re seeing happen around you. Below is a hybrid of some of mine:

Starting 5 (pry, 1/2, 3/4, lengthen, full) + high 20 + settle 10 (5, 6, 7, let’s lengthen in 3, 2, 1, lengthen boom).

10 at 500m (what it’s for is based on what I see…it could be to push a crew back, to walk, or just for ourselves, so I’d call it to push our puddles back, to feel the acceleration, etc.)

Related: One of the varsity rowers told me about a certain race move/call-10 for pairs? Like having all 8 take a 10, but emphasis for specific pairs. I’m not sure how to call that, can you help me out?

3 + 20 at the 1000m (3 to build into a 20 at the 1000m. No change in stroke rate, just building the power on the first 3.)

5 at 750m to regain composure and shift our focus to the last 1/3 of the race.

15 at 600m to make one final move on the field, either to walk or walk away.

10 at 400m, final 3 building into the sprint (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, shift up to our sprint (7), over three (8), two (9), and one (10)…sit up and go)

Related: When do you call power 10s, both on the erg and the water?

Last 250-300m is an all out sprint, driving for the line

10 in the last 100ish meters to charge the line, get the bow ball ahead if necessary, etc.

As far as calls go, talk to your rowers and ask the what they want to hear. I tend to ask them to tell me one technical and one motivational thing they want me to call and then I’ll write that down and try to work it in somehow over the course of the race. They are your best resource though for figuring out things to say because you want to make calls that resonate with them.

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