Hi! I am currently a junior in high school and it is my third year of coxing girls. As a junior I am looking into different colleges and I know that i want to continue coxing. In March, I am going to ID camp to try out for the Junior National Selection Team. Because of my birthday, I just miss the cutoff for trying out for HP, so having to trying out for the most competitive spot on the team is really nerve racking. Obviously I really want to make the team, so I wanted to know if there are any tips for becoming an even better coxswain and fully preparing myself for ID camp. I know that making this team can really help me be recruited into really good D1 colleges, and I have to grades for many highly competitive academic schools, so making this team is really important for me. Also, if you know anything that happens at ID Camp besides what they said on the website, please let me know because that would be much appreciated! Weight wise I am fine, luckily I was blessed with a good metabolism because I pretty much eat what I want and I float between 105-107lbs. Also, another thing that I am concerned about is my height. While I am 5’7″, as I mentioned before I am very tiny, but I’m scared they will discriminate against my height. Thank you so much!
Communication should be your biggest priority. You’re gonna be at a new boathouse, on a new body of water, with rowers, coxswains, and coaches that you’re unfamiliar with which means you’ve gotta figure out and internalize the plan and procedures ASAP. I assume the coaches will meet with the coxswains early in the day to go over stuff so you should look at it like any other coxswain’s meeting – if you have a question that isn’t answered, speak up and ask because it might have a big impact on how you do something later in the day. In situations like this I usually try to jot down a short list of questions that I know I’ll have, that way I can just tick them off as they get answered and then actually ask whatever’s leftover. (Did that for all my interviews with Columbia and it made things so much less stressful. Highly recommend doing it – it takes like, 5 minutes to do.)
A coach I worked with last summer who also coached with the HP/dev teams said that a big thing for the coaches was having the coxswains call everything “in two”, rather than “on this one”, just saying “weigh enough” on its own, etc. I’ve heard other coxswains mention that too so that’d be something to get clarified before you go on the water. It’s also a good reminder that you’ll probably need to adapt your normal way of doing things to fit their way of doing things. Your ability to do that without issue will most likely be something they look for, not only because adaptability is an important trait/skill for a coxswain but it’s also gonna indicate to them what your practice management skills are like. You’ll be out with a variety of people from a variety of programs who probably all do things a little differently – you’ve gotta be the one who standardizes it for everyone and says “OK guys, all my calls today are going to be preceded with “in two”…” so they
Obviously keep working on whatever you’ve been working on lately but don’t try to teach yourself new tricks before the camp. Do what works and do it well. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said this but moving up the ladder as a coxswain is all about excelling at executing the basics. The better you are at that, the more opportunities you’re gonna have.
Coxswains, feel free to leave a comment about what you did at the camp but as far as I know, it’s just helping collect times from the 2k and then going out on the water for a row. Depending on the number of coxswains there you might row the whole time or you might get switched in halfway if there’s someone in the launch.
As far as your height, no one cares as long as you’re at racing weight (110lbs).