Question of the Day

I have coxed for two seasons for my school and I am the most experienced cox and we have no novice coxes. I am 5’5 and 110lb but my coach thinks I am too tall and heavy to cox? Am I? I still fit in the cox’s seat and have room to spare! Me and my crew have just recently won the champs, they wouldn’t have done it without me, and they all say they would rather have a cox a couple of pounds over than a useless cox, but I don’t think my coach thinks that. I really want to cox but I still have 6 months till the next regatta! How can I convince my coach that I can still cox and want to? I can’t let my crew have a novice cox as they all want to win next season!!!

5’5″ might be just a little on the tall side to be a coxswain compared to the rest of us but ultimately it’s not height that matters when it comes to coxing, it’s weight. The minimum is 110lbs so … you’re fine.

As far as convincing your coach, it really depends on how amenable he is. My suggestion would be to not say anything about it unless the issue is brought up by him and then if it is, reiterate that you don’t feel like your weight is an issue and that your crew feels that your skills on the water outweigh a pound or two (no pun intended).

I wouldn’t say that they couldn’t have done it without you though because that sounds pretentious and like you think you’re the sole reason they won (even though I’m sure that’s not how you intend it to come off). I’d also not say anything about them wanting to win next season and not wanting a novice coxswain because that makes it sound like you/they think they don’t have a shot in hell if someone new is coxing them. Granted, yes, there’s a learning curve with novice coxswains that they’ve gotta overcome but it is certainly still possible to win with one of them in your boat. To be honest, if I heard an experienced/varsity coxswain say something like that I’d take them out of the boat immediately and replace them with a novice just to give them a wake up call that everybody is replaceable.

Bottom line is, keep whatever conversation you have with him about the issue at hand (nothing hypothetical), don’t bash the novices in the process, and again, don’t say anything unless it’s brought up to you by him. Keep doing what you’re doing and make sure you’re staying on top of your responsibilities on and off the water.

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