To be a teammate, coxswains have to act like teammates. Learn as much as you can about rowing. Learn how to row. Participate in team land workouts. Watch your teammates on the ergs and get to know where they struggle physically, physiologically, and mentally. Those elements can be just as fundamental to success on the water as boat feel and executing a perfect race plan.
In rowing, the transcendent moment is called "swing" and those of us who have rowed for lifetimes have maybe experienced swing three or four times. It doesn't happen very often but when it does it really is a different dimension. It's where all eight bodies in the boat are absolutely in sync and every stroke is as perfect as it can be and then all of a sudden the race is over and you don't remember anything about the race except that you ended up two boat lengths ahead. It's an extraordinary kind of experience, really quite an oxymoron, it's a physical out of body experience or a mental out of body experience. It's part of that transcendence.
Here I am sitting in the boat ... I’m not really doing anything to help the boat go fast but everybody is supposed to listen to me and they are supposed to go harder when I say go harder. It has to be a blind trust. If one person questions me or doesn’t believe what I’m saying, it just doesn’t work. Or if eight people don’t buy in 100 percent, it will still be fast but it won’t be magnificent.Katelin Snyder 2016 Team USA W8+ Coxswain