Question of the Day

Hey there, I have a question about coxing. I’ve been coxing for a couple years now and just realized that I call my calls on different times. I mean, for power 10’s I’ll call the numbers when they are half way through the drive to the finish. But for starts, I will call the numbers at the catch such as (1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full, full) as well as 10 highs at the catch. I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I’ve always done it this way and my crew goes with it. How do you personally do it?

Everybody does this a little differently. If something’s been working for you and your crew, don’t feel pressured to change it. I was taught to call everything right at the catch so regardless of whether I’m calling starts, power 10s, etc. I always call everything as the blade enters the water. The only exception is if I’m trying to get the the rowers to focus on their catches or something else that happens up at the front end, I’ll say sharp one, sharp two, sharp three…” or something to that effect instead of saying the number first. Saying “sharp” kind of loses its power if you’re saying it halfway through the drive, which I noticed was happening when I’d call the strokes right at the catch.

The reason I don’t call things in the middle of the stroke is because I found it always caused people to rush into the next stroke … and it’s just sloppy. When I was a novice (and probably the first time I ever called a power 10) I did this and my coach corrected me on it immediately. From the launch he could see the rowers rushing up the slide to match their catches to when I was saying the stroke number so after that he explained why calling things right at the catch was more appropriate/effective and that’s the way I’ve done it ever since.

I try to be really consistent about when I call things and when I made the adjustment to calling the numbers at the finish in these instances my eight definitely noticed. I explained why I was doing it though and they thought it made sense. The key is to just keep them in-the-know about what you’re doing if you decide to change something. Like I said though, if you’ve been doing something that’s been working for your boat, even if it’s slightly unconventional, don’t feel pressured to change it. If you want to try doing it a different way, tell them that ahead of time and then let them know if you decide to revert back to what you were doing previously or if you decide to stick with the new way.

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