Just wanted to say that your blog has been so useful to my rowing and I’d like to thank you for it. Firstly I’ve been rowing for about a year and am a J15 in the UK system. I like rowing and enjoy the challenge but am starting to find it a bit repetitive. I also find myself in a race situation knowing what I needs to change in a boat in order to make it faster but not being able to physically execute it myself. My erg times and splits also aren’t great and I’m starting to get disheartened by this.
I’m 5ft4 and weigh about the right amount to cox but am worried I’ve left it too late to switch. I’ve been trying coxing over the Christmas training period and am really enjoying it. The rowers in the boats I’ve coxed have said that I’m really good and that my technical calls and motivation are both great which is nice to hear. However there are already 3 coxes in my squad and although my coach said she wanted another, there is another person who also wants to cox. I would also feel really bad if I ended up coxing more than the 3 existing coxes as I feel like they would have put more work in and deserve it more.
In general thank you for reading my extremely long question and in essence what I’m asking is: is it too late to switch to coxing and if not then how is the best way for me to go about doing it.
You’re pretty young and you’ve only been rowing for a year – it’s definitely not too late to switch. You’ve also gotta get over feeling bad about potentially coxing more than the other three coxswains … who cares? Whoever puts the time and effort into developing into a good, competent coxswain should be the one(s) in the boat, not whoever’s been there the longest. Seniority doesn’t equate to putting the time in. Not to say they haven’t, just pointing out the fallacy there.
If your coach has already said that she wants to add another coxswain to the squad then go up to her and say “hey, I’m interested in switching from rowing to coxing, what do I need to do to make that happen?”. If she asks why then lay out your reasons but keep it positive and talk about what you’ll bring to the role (i.e. feeling like you know what needs to be changed in the boat, getting positive feedback from the times you’ve been in the boat lately, etc.) rather than saying something like “my erg times and splits aren’t great”. (That’s not a legitimate reason to switch to coxing – you can get stronger and more aerobically fit and improve both of those things if you really wanted to.)