The Ringleader of This Circus (writergirlnyc) wrote in coxbox,
The Ringleader of This Circus

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Made a cox over the weekend...

I had my first row yesterday...

The coach told me, though, that they need a permanent cox, not a rower (there's more than enough of those to go around, he said)...and I got some weird looks when I was actually HAPPY about that. So, this is fine for me, but I need some advice...what makes a practice effective? (We row for two's just a small club, but we do compete in regional regattas, and eventually, I want to move on to a larger club, so I want to use this experience to learn as much as I can, skill-wise. It's really rather low-key, so I think that will be good, too, as I've never done this before. All I know is what I've read, which is a lot.)

Is there merit in listening to recordings at this point? Reading the books? (Aside from actually DOING it and putting the theoretical knowledge--i.e. what I've learned from reading--into practice.)

And, a couple of guys in the club made some pretty pointed comments about me coxing (I'm a female...), that "you NEED to learn how to row",and I explained that I have every intention of doing so--at least, definitely getting better than I am, as my strength isn't quite what it should be, but this session ends on the 11th of next month, so I will have until May to get up to par. I'm planning on keeping up with running, and joining a gym, so I can use the ergs, and is there any sort of lifting I should do? Obviously, I don't want to bulk up, but I want to be able to row well enough that they'll understand that _I_ understand what they're dealing with.

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks, though, for any input. If you want, you can e-mail or; IM: Yahoo=joliebird/AIM=joliebird06

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Wow...when I was a cox, there were eight coxswains and only enough rowers for four boats (which is how I ended up getting cut).

My best tips that I can give you is knowing your rowers well enough to know what motivates them. Remind them where they are in the race in relation to other boats.

I did learn how to row on an erg with the rest of the rowers so that I knew the technique and everything but they never actually put me rowing in the boat (except for in a skull). However, I am a girl who is in a male-dominated field (sports writing) so I say this: if you think it's because of your gender, don't let the comments get to you. Not only do they want to rattle you in that case, but they also want to demonstrate their "superiority" over you.

Definitely let us know how it goes! I hope this helps :)
i would agree that you need to know your rowers. what pushes their buttons, what is the right phrases that they need to hear to motivate them. you are their eyes and their brain.

yes listen to recordings. there are good ones and bad ones out there. listen to them and figure out for yourself. take notes on what they say, when they say it, what the response is supposed to be. learn different calls.

i used to take a note card in the boat just for reference in case i blanked out on the race plan but also to jot down key phrases for lengthening, or connection or quick hands etc.. and have few phrases for each to get the point across. never leave them in silence they cant see and always tell them where they are in relation to other boats (that are nearby) and if you are walking through or where you are in relation to their rowers (i got 3 seat). tell them if hteir puddles clear and how far into the race they are/close to the finish line. sorry if i wrote a lot.
First and foremost, learn how to steer. This is something that people often forget to mention.
It's all very well knowing the right words, but if you're on the wrong side of the river when you call them, they're no use.

With regard to rowing, yes you do need to know how to do it, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to row yourself. I'm actually not allowed to row, for various reasons, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the technique involved - I can sit on an erg and demonstrate it even (although not for a 2k test). This is because I used to go to all of my crew's onland training sessions and take times/ pass out water, call station changes in circuits etc and because I listened to what my coaches said to the rowers as well as to me.

However, a lot of people prefer to learn to row themselves, if they can, and I have a lot of respect for that. But if you want to be a serious cox, then your crew's training has to come before your own.

Just remember that, as patchsassy says, if it's your gender that is a problem now it always will be - the rowers will likely look down on female rowing too. Part of being a cox is learning to take the banter - chin up, ignore it at the time, or comment back if you think of something! (but by all means write about it here and we'll try to help!)