Hey there, I am going into my second year as a coxswain (I cox boys novice). I feel like I could be more enjoyable in the boat. Don’t get me wrong, the boys and I have fun all the time but I also don’t want to upset my coach by talking to the guys and having in with them and stuff. I feel like there is no way I can have fun and be an enjoyable coxswain for the guys while still getting my job done. Also I have started a note book to write things down in for practice and regattas, any tips about what to write in it and good calls to make?
I think it’s important to remember that you’re not really there to be their friend while you’re in the boat. I mean, obviously there’s no reason to be unpleasant but you’re not a cruise director … your job when you’re on the water is not to ensure that they’re having a five star experience. They have a job to do and you have a job to do and that comes first. You shouldn’t be talking to them when the coach is talking because a) that’s rude and b) you (and they) will end up missing something the coach says which ends up wasting time later when he/she has to repeat themselves. If you’re already having fun like you said then just keep doing what you’re doing but keep in mind that being “an enjoyable coxswain” is not one of your responsibilities.
As far as notebooks go, check out the post linked below. For the most part my notes are just a running list of phrases, calls, things the other coaches say, and miscellaneous thoughts based on whatever we’re doing. My best advice though is to figure out a system that works best for you and stick with it.
Related: Keeping a notebook
“Good calls to make” is pretty much one of the vaguest questions ever (sorry) so I’d recommend checking out the “calls” tag and some of the recordings posts where I’ve pointed out calls I like, don’t like, think are awesome or could be said better/more effectively, etc. to see if you find something in there that you like. Most of the time though the calls you make should be based off of what you’re seeing. The more experienced you get and the more time you spend educating yourself on technique the easier it’ll be to make good calls.