Music to erg to, pt. 121

Lots of good stuff on the blog lately so if you aren’t caught up, here’s what you’ve missed:

Getting across the line with world class speed This is from a talk Bryan Volpenhein gave at a coaching conference I went to last year. There’s a couple videos in here from the M4- he coaches, as well as his thoughts on the mentality you should have at the start and how to stay relaxed when you’re at peak speed. Definitely worth reading.

VOTW: Inches. One of the best rowing videos that I’ve been saving for just the right time.

The mental game This is from the same conference as Bryan’s talk. This one was given by Adam Naylor, a sport psychologist at BU and Northeastern and talks about helping athletes manage themselves on race day (and how I “managed” myself as a coxswain) and what giving up control during a race means if you’re a coxswain. Linked in that post is this TED Talk from a few years ago – check it out too when you have time.

I also posted four questions yesterday on coxing seat races (should you talk, should you not…), dealing with a rough coaching situation, burying the blade too deep on the drive, and how to “generally” cox a race with crew you’re unfamiliar with.


Music to erg to, pt. 120

Two important racing posts went up last Thursday and this past Tuesday, the first on race warmups and the second on coxing from behind. The post on race warmups talked a lot about time management, what to add/take away if you get stuck on the water for longer than you’d planned or you have to cut the warmup short, and my trick for ensuring everyone is in the same place at the same time. This week’s post was on coxing from behind and included some insight into my strategy for managing the race when my crew is down, as well as tackling the question of whether you should tell your crew that you’re sitting in last place.

This week’s VOTW was an interesting take on how to cox rowers on the erg so definitely check that out if you’re looking for ideas for the winter. Lastly, if you didn’t see last week’s Flashback post, check out the first VOTW link from last year (“how all coxswains should be chosen”), how to scull your bow around (also from last year), and the recordings post from two years ago (#11).

Music to erg to, pt. 119

It’s been a busy week on the blog. Here’s what’s been going on…

Monday’s VOTW was a video from Princeton about their use of the Peach system (which we also have) and how they incorporated technology into their winter training trip. If you’re into tech + rowing, it’s worth checking out.

Tuesday’s post was on working with or around a bad coach (and I know that “bad” is a heavily subjective term but I think you understand what I’m getting at).

Wednesday’s Pro Tip was on maintaining the set when you’re on the rudder (lots of confusion on that with the coxswains and lots of rower requests to address it so … there you go).

Yesterday’s posts included two great questions on how to be more personal when coxing a race and what to do if you think someone in your boat doesn’t like you (tl;dr who cares, move on).

I also updated the summer camps Google doc with two new Sparks camps in the Mid-Atlantic region (both in Philly), one of which doesn’t actually take place on the water and instead focuses on educating rowers on how to structure their individual training programs and set rowing-specific training goals. It’s very different from nearly every other camp out there but it fills a void that you’re probably familiar with if you follow the /r/rowing subreddit and see all threads on “how I should train over the winter/summer”, “what’s a good training plan”, etc.

Last thing – a lot of you have been asking about the Cox Orb and a post on it is coming! It’s been bouncing around the boathouse over the last several weeks so I’ve been pushing back the post I have planned so I can incorporate in as much feedback from the other coxswains as possible. If you have any specific questions about it feel free to leave a comment or email me and I’ll make sure to answer them.

Music to erg to, pt. 118

Racing season officially started last week so if you didn’t see the race videos/coxswain recordings that I posted on YouTube you can check them out here and here. The plan is to post the videos every weekend like I did last year so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on those.

On Tuesday I posted about race steering, which really isn’t all that different from regular steering except for the small fact that everyone cares a lot more if you mess up and/or don’t steer straight. Something that really helps avoid oversteering is gripping the steering cables the right way so I included a photo that shows how I do it as an example. Regardless of whether you’re still learning how to steer or are just trying to polish up your skills now that we’re in season, check it out and share it with the other coxswains on your team.

Music to erg to, pt. 117

I posted several questions yesterday so if you haven’t seen those yet you can find them here, here, here, here, and here. Other posts this week included Tuesday’s post on coxing short, high intensity workouts and Wednesday’s Top 20 Terms post on pause drills, which also happened to be the last in that series (20 weeks went by fast!).

I don’t think I ever mentioned this but in case you haven’t figured out the schedule yet, I’ve been posting questions and actual posts on alternating days each week – since I posted questions on Thursday this week I’ll post any new ones on Tuesday next week, Thursday the following week, etc. (This is why it might seem like it’s taking me forever to post your questions – I promise I’ve seen it, I’m just trying to stick to the schedule.) Same goes for regular posts too – Tuesday this week, Thursday next week, etc. I started doing that in January just to keep things more organized and ensure there’s a steady stream of stuff going up throughout the week.

Also, don’t forget to send me any thoughts/comments you have on the summer camps you went to last year so I can include them in this year’s camps post (which will hopefully be up sometime on Sunday). It’ll all be anonymous so anything you wanna share would be great.

Music to erg to, pt. 116

Each year I post a (fairly long) list of summer camp options for rowers and coxswains and I’m currently working on this year’s. You can see last year’s HERE (with some details explained here). One of the things that makes this post helpful for you guys is your input on what camps you’ve been to and what you’ve liked/disliked about them. This is particularly important for coxswains since there aren’t a lot of rowing camps that have time set aside specifically for coxswain development. The ones that do, obviously, I want to make sure people know about. I’d love to get everyone’s input for this year’s post so if you’ve been to any of the camps in the Google Doc I linked earlier or to any that might not be listed in there, send me an email that includes the following:

– Which program you attended, where it was held, and how long it lasted (i.e. One week-long camp at XYZ University in [city, state]).
– Pros/cons – what did you like and/or not like (preferably one of each so as to keep it fair)
– Was it worth the money?
– Would you recommend it to other people?
– What was your biggest takeaway from the program, i.e. what was the biggest/most helpful thing you learned

My goal is to get this posted by the end of the month so if you want to contribute anything, the sooner you can email me the better.

Music to erg to, pt. 115

We’re officially back in season this week with the start of 20-hour weeks and Saturday practices. As great as sleeping in on Saturdays is (even if “sleeping in” means like, 7:30am…), it’s good to be fully back in the swing of things. The first race is five weeks away!

Lots of posts from the last two weeks to check out, in particular this question that I posted last night. It’s a good one and probably one that a lot of coxswains can relate to. Like I said in my reply, getting what you want/need starts with asking the right questions. Definitely take a second to read it when you can.

Other posts…

Another QOTD about what to do to get back into shape before the season starts after coming back from an injury

Top 20 Terms: Release (not. the same. as. the finish) and Over-compression

This week’s VOTW is a student-made documentary called “The Drive”. There’s several good interviews in there with current and former elite rowers, as well as current collegiate coaches, rowers, and coxswains.

Coxswain evaluations 2.0: Over spring break last year we revamped our evals a bit so this post goes into detail about the updates we made, the questions it asks and why it asks them, etc. It’s worth checking out even if your team doesn’t do evals, that way you can get some ideas for what to ask the rowers if/when you’re trying to gather feedback.

I also posted three new recordings on YouTube from Katelin Snyder. These ones are from a 3x1500m workout that she did with UW back in 2007 and are good insight into how to call practice pieces while maintaining a balance between “race mode” and “practice mode”.

If that’s not enough reading material, last week’s FBF has 60ish links to old QOTDs and posts in it.