Race skills: Calling a head race

Previously: Race warmups || Coxing from behind || Calls for when you’re behind || Managing the nuances of a head race

To follow up on last week’s post on managing a head race, I wanted to share an excerpt from one of my articles that’s in Issue #2 of Coxing Magazine. This one is on “calling a head race”, which you can read in full, as well as my other article on executing your race warmup, by subscribing to the magazine. Don’t forget too that you can use 2016LAUNCH to get 50% off your subscription if you sign up before the end of the year.

(Note: What’s below is my writing as it appeared when it was sent to the publisher. It may be worded differently in the magazine.)

Develop a list of internal calls. These calls are occasionally technical but largely motivational and ones that resonate for a specific reason with the boat or a rower. (A great example of this is the “baseball bat” story I posted in 2013 – it’s worth searching for if you haven’t read it.) I like to have 3-4 of these in my back pocket to be used at just the right moment. That could be when we’re sitting on another crew or when I sense the boat starting to get heavy and the fatigue setting in. You can’t plan necessarily when to use them but having them ready to go ensures you won’t waste precious seconds (and meters) searching for the right words.

Related: HOCR: Race plans and Race calls

From there, the rest of my calls are the usual “stock calls” that don’t take any extra effort to come up with. It’s what I’m saying every day during practice combined with what I see happening around us. Having my calls loosely outlined in my race plan (which has been crafted with the help of my rowers and coaches) means that instead of relying on the same handful of stock calls throughout the race, all I have to do is interject the relevant ones based on what I’m seeing and feeling in between the pre-planned stuff where my calls are a little more directly focused.

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