Question of the Day

Hey, This past spring season was my first season and I am a novice coxswain. Now I am training with mostly varsity kids for the summer. I want to be be able to get them to respect me but I am really short and weak. I have already tried working out with them. Is there any other way to get their respect? Also, what are some drills that I can do on the water when I am waiting for my coach so my rowers arenโ€™t just sitting around? Thanks for the help!

Don’tย use being “short and weak” as an excuse. I’ve been trying to break that stereotype my entire life and it really irritates me when other people use that to justify why people don’t respect them. I’m 4’11” and 95lbs – I am short and I’m definitely weak compared to rowers but what I lack in strength I make up for in leadership skills, meticulous attention to detail, and just working my ass off to be the best coxswain I can be for my crews. If you want their respect, do those things instead of making excuses.

Related: How a collegiate coxswain earned her crew’s respect

Two of the drills that my coach has me do are catch placement drills (by 4s, 6s, or all 8 using just the outside hand or both hands – there’s lots of variations you can do) and pause progressions (by 4s, 6s, or all 8, 5 strokes pausing hands away, 5 at bodies over, 5 at 1/2 slide, 5 full strokes).

Catch placement drills, which I talked a bit about in this post, are stationary and the pause progressions will let us row for a bit but not get too far away from him. I wouldn’t go more than 200m or so before spinning, rowing down the other side of the river, and then spinning and going back up, similar to what you do at regattas. Talk to your coach too and ask if there’s anything specific they’d like you to do that day if you’re on your own for a bit. They’ll almost always give you something to do and they’ll appreciate the initiative.


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