Coxswain recordings, pt. 25

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7 || Part 8 || Part 9 || Part 10 || Part 10b || Part 11 || Part 12 || Part 13 || Part 14 || Part 15 || Part 16 || Part 17 || Part 18 || Part 19 || Part 20 || Part 21 ||Part 22 || Part 23 || Part 24

This month’s recordings post all feature Kaitlin Snyder and her races with Washington in 2008 and 2009 at the Crew Classic. If you missed the other recordings I’ve posted of her you can find them here and here, as well as in this playlist on my YouTube channel. You’ll see me say “awareness” a lot in this post and that’s because it’s one of things she excels at. It’s a crucial skill for coxswains to have (if you’ve been to Sparks you know how much Marcus harps on this) and there are several examples in here for where it can/should be applied.

Sorry there’s no captions this time, I’ve been preoccupied with other projects and just didn’t have time to listen and write everything out.

UW 2008 San Diego Crew Classic
Washington lead for most of this race but going into the 1000m Cal had a two seat advantage before UW took a move to retake the lead. They finished first in 5:39.9, two seconds ahead of Princeton (5:41.8). Harvard finished third and Cal fell back to fourth.

1:06 I love how she called the stride here and that she said “you know how to do it together”. The start of the stride is executed really well – the change in her tone is great when she calls “striiide POWER, hold the knees…”.

1:35 “Strong Husky rhythm…” I like any call that references the team because it reminds you who you’re rowing for and gives an extra kick of motivation.

Note the balance (up to this point and throughout the entire recording) in her tone between being calm and being aggressive. There’s an awareness there for when to employ each that is a huge advantage for her crews.

2:41 “Bend now…” This is another drive/catch/legs call that I really like. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it but it’s simple and just another way to call for power.

2:45 “You’ve got good water, take advantage of it. Row smart Roko…” This is a good reminder to the crew (and individuals if/when necessary), especially if the conditions aren’t perfect. When you see good water in your lane make sure the crew knows so that you can sharpen up and take full advantage of it before you hit the next gust or batch of chop. This is another instance where awareness can give your crew a huge advantage.

3:17 I’ve talked about this before, calling out guys in your boat who might not necessarily be stern pair to lead the crew through a move. In this case, Simon and Roko were 3-seat and 5-seat … so not even a pair, just two individual rowers that lead the rest of the crew through this move.

3:25 The 3rd 500 is almost always one of the toughest parts of the race which is why your energy has to be high here. How she called “3rd 500 now” is a good lead-in to this section and through her tone you can tell that she’s not fading which is going to help keep the crew from fading.

4:08 Most of the time when I hear coxswains call 10s they get super overly ambitious and say “power 10 to get even” when they’re a length down on the boat they’re trying to walk on. Here they’re taking a 30 for inches. Inches. I also like the added call to lengthen both ends of the slide. You guys know this but the further you get into the race and the more fatigued you become the more likely you are to start shortening up – this was a well-timed call to get them to get their length at the catch and hold on to the full stroke through the finish.

Related: All about Power 10s

4:27 “Splits are dropping and you are in the fucking lead!” Perfect example of when you see/feel the crew responding to your calls, the moves, etc. to tell them.

4:44 This chunk through here is what I really like hearing in recordings – coxswains demanding more from their crews, in this case inches and leg drives.

4:59 This is a call worth stealing – “those are your fucking jerseys!”.

5:07 The last minute shows how you can call a burst, in particular a long one like this 30, and not count every single stroke. If it’s a well practiced move like this was then the rowers will know, not just because they can count but from muscle memory so to speak, how long the 30 lasts. What I like about this is she tells them when the last 10 is instead and then when the 30 is done instead of starting the 30 and not saying anything else about it, which is something I hear a lot in recordings.

5:23 “Up two for 10 with power…” I like calls that like this that emphasize something rather than just saying “up two for 10 in two, one … two …”. Whether it’s awareness on your part because you want to remind the crew of something, you see something starting to fall off, or it’s just part of your race plan, I think this is a more effective way of calling your build strokes, especially as you get into the last 300ish meters.

5:40 This was excellent awareness to see that Princeton started moving early and to make the call to go with them. This shows how important it is to not just be focused inside the boat but to keep your head on a swivel and be aware of what’s happening around you so crew’s don’t sneak up on you like Princeton tried to do here.

UW 2009 San Diego Crew Classic Heat
I think my new goal when I get time to go on the water is to work on refining how well I balance my calm/aggressive tones. She does it so well and it just makes me want to do it better.

The defining part of this recording for me was at 5:25 when she said told them to “stay in time … stabilize at the 38” then recalls back to builders they did the other day and how their directness at the front end then was what they needed right now. Sit up, loose shoulders … now they’re connected, now they’re walking, now they’re moving. Again with the awareness thing but that’s really all it comes down to. Knowing what your crew is working on, knowing their strengths, weaknesses, etc. and knowing just what to say to them to snap them back into rhythm.

UW 2009 San Diego Crew Classic Final
Listen to how she calls the move at 900 and then carries that energy over into the third 500, in addition to what specifically she’s saying. All listen to how towards the end of the race (when the pack is tight) she’s keeping the focus on her crew instead of making a lot of calls about where the other crews are. She still tells them where they are but the primary focus is on getting her boat rowing well and maintaining it because without that, the moves they make won’t be as effective. Again … awareness helped give her crew the edge.

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