Question of the Day

Hi! I have a couple of questions. I recently switched schools and I’ve noticed that my new team doesn’t check pitch and spread. Is this weird? And if I were to say something like “and send!” would I call that at the catch?

Are you in high school or college? If you’re in high school I wouldn’t think it’s too weird. I don’t think I ever saw my coaches do anything with the rigging (although it’s possible they messed with it when we weren’t around). I know some high schools that pay way to much attention to that kind of stuff for the level their kids are rowing at and others who don’t pay any attention to it. It couldn’t hurt to ask your coach just out of curiosity. If you’re in college and they don’t check it, that’s probably a little more rare since you’re starting to row at a level where those minor changes can actually have a big impact on your stroke.

With “and send” you would say “and” at the catch and then “send” at the finish since that’s when the boat actually sends. Instead of saying “and” though, make a call for the catch. “And” doesn’t really do anything, even though I get why you do it. If you say something like “jump”, “press”, or whatever other words you can think of, that has the ability to initiate a stronger response from the rowers which in turn will make the drive more powerful and the run a little longer. You want to say as few words as you need to in order to get your point across but the key to doing that is making sure every word means something. If you can eliminate the useless words and replace them with something more likely to elicit a response, you’ll be a more effective coxswain.

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Question of the Day

Can you go over NCAA recruiting rules? Like when they can call, email and talk to you, and how often, and whats the difference when you are a senior and a junior.

With written correspondence (letters, emails, brochures, etc.), D1 coaches can start sending you info after September 1st of your junior year. So, if you’re a junior right now, since it’s September 4th, you’re “eligible”, for lack of a better term, to start receiving stuff from coaches. For D2 programs I think it’s sometime early in June, maybe the second week of the month or so. You can send as many emails, etc. as you want throughout the time you’re in school but coaches can’t initiate them until after September 1st. They also aren’t allowed to talk to you about recruiting-specific stuff but they can answer general questions or direct you to people in the athletic or admissions department who can also help you out.

D1 coaches can start calling athletes on July 1st after you’ve finished your junior year, so during the summer before senior year begins. D2 is a little different in that they can start calling athletes on June 15th before the start of their junior year, which is an entire year earlier than D1. After those dates coaches can call you once a week for any length of time. You can only get one call per university, meaning if Callahan calls you from Washington on Wednesday, his assistant can’t call you on Friday. It’s one or the other but not both. You can call the coach as many times as you want throughout the time you’re in school though. If the coach answers you can talk for any length of time but unless it’s after July 1st or June 15th after/before your junior year, they can’t call you back if you’ve left a voicemail, so you’d have to just keep trying and calling them until you get them if you have a pressing question. If it’s after those dates and they haven’t used their one allotted phone call for the week, they can call you back.

The other big difference between junior year and senior year is that you can start going on official visits following the first day of school your senior year. Before that you can only go on unofficial visits.

Related: Official vs. unofficial visits

Coaches can also observe you at practice up to seven times during the year. Contact also becomes a bit more limited as they aren’t allowed to contact you or your parents more than three times while you’re a senior. In D2 there are no limits. The contact referred to is in-person, face to face contact at your house, at practice, at a regatta, etc. If you meet up at a regatta, there are a lot of rules that go into effect. Basically the coach can’t contact or call you from the time the races start until they end and you’ve been released by your coach. They can talk to your parents or family at any time though. So, if you just finished racing and the coach was standing with your family and they see you coming off the water, your parents can say “good job!” but the coach can’t, otherwise that would be considered contact. It’s all a little confusing so it’s best to read and learn the rules so you know what is and isn’t permissible.