Question of the Day

Hey! I just had a really bad practice and I need some advice. So I have the top eight right now but our coach changes it up all the time. There is a race coming up but I’m not going so naturally I’d be moved down to the boats that aren’t going. Today for practice he kept me on the A boat but I screwed up and steered into another boat and my steering was just bad overall today. He seemed really disappointed and the last time he seemed so disappointed, he moved the A cox down to B. I just really want to make up for today and I’m scared tomorrow I won’t be on A boat. What do I say/do? Also can you link me to the post about what to do after a bad practice? I just really want to make up for today and prove to my coach that even though I’m not going to the next (last) race, I’m still worthy of A boat. Thank you so much.

So this might not be what you want to hear but if you’re not going to the race, don’t worry about not being in the top boat. It’s more important for the coxswain that is going to be in there and you moving down to the B boat for a few days will give you the opportunity to work on the stuff you didn’t do so well with today without the added pressure of prepping for your race.

Related: What do you like to do to cheer yourself up after a lost race or tough practice?

With regards to your coach, if you feel like he’s disappointed in you, you should make an effort to go up to him before practice starts and acknowledge the mistake(s) you made, apologize (only once – it starts to sound disingenuous and gets annoying after that), and ask if he has any feedback for you (other than to steer better). Having one bad practice doesn’t make you unworthy of the top boats but an unwillingness to acknowledge and/or work on your weaknesses does. It sounds like you might be at the end of your fall season so use the last few practices to really work on your steering and anything else that they’ve said they’d like to see you work on. Throughout the winter, be a leader when you’re at practice and show your coach why you deserve a spot in the A boat.

As I’ve said before, make sure you’re going after the top boat because you actually deserve the top boat and have the skills to back up being there and not because you want to just say “I’m coxing the A boat”. Obviously everyone wants the A boat but there’s nothing wrong with coxing the B boat or the C boat, especially if you’re still developing your skills.

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