Day: February 17, 2013

Coxing Novice Q&A

Question of the Day

Is it unusual to change from rowing to coxing? I’m nearing the end of my novice season and feel like I could be a good cox in the future. I love rowing and am getting decent results but at 5’4 (shorter than one of my coxswains) and 120lbs (female) I have to work crazy hard to keep up with all the bigger girls. I’ll be sticking with the sport either way but it just seems like such a cool component of the boat to be.

Definitely not! It’s way more unusual to go from coxing to rowing and the only people that tend to do that are high school guys who are too tall to cox after their freshman year. I would definitely propose the idea to your coach and get their input. They’ll probably be more receptive to the idea if your team is actually in need of coxswains vs. already having a surplus but it never hurts to ask. If you have a genuine interest in it and aren’t looking to switch just because you’re not willing to put the effort in to become a better rower, I doubt your coaches will have a problem with you wanting to try something new.

Related: Hi! So I’m a senior in my first year of club rowing. I’m really athletic and strong from swimming and cross country but I’m 5’2 and like 115. Do you think I have a future in college rowing or should I be a coxswain? Thanks.

If you’re part of or near a rowing club that hosts learn to row camps over the summer, I’d go to those and volunteer to be a coxswain. That way you can get experience in the boat, get a feel for what it’s like, and start picking up some of the skills you’ll need (like steering) before the fall season starts. That way, if you coach needs you to, you’ll be ready to hop into the boat without being too far behind the learning curve.