College Coxing Racing Recordings

Coxswain recordings, pt. 21

Western Washington University 2014 WIRA Women’s Varsity 4+ Heat

This is probably one of very few examples where a coxswain is abnormally quiet and yet still coxing pretty well. The intensity comes across even if the typical coxswain-volume isn’t there. There are a few times where it gets a little to yoga-instructor-trying-to-get-you-to-meditate but for the most part, this is pretty good.

There’s a lot of great individual calls made throughout the piece that do a great job of conveying what needs to happen without making it seem like it has to happen now now now. I also like the calls to the various pairs to accomplish different things. An important point to remember though is to not forget the “how” part of the calls. At 1:43 she says “let’s get a little more run” but doesn’t say how she wants the crew to actually execute that (long(er) on both ends, holding in the finishes, big acceleration on the drive, etc.). Not doing that runs the risk of everyone doing their own thing to accomplish that task instead of executing a unified approach (that you give them).

The last 250m (last 60 seconds or so) is called well. That “coxswain volume” starts to come out, the intensity’s been bumped up, and you can just sense the confidence behind the calls. Overall this was a great coxing job and like I said at the beginning, probably one of very few examples of good coxing where the coxswain is very quiet and almost too calm for the majority of the race.

Last thing: “I see the finish line…”. Don’t say that. They can see the finish line too from the starting platform if they turn around and look for it.

Other calls I liked:

“Right with your pair partner…” I like this as an alternative to saying “right with stern pair”, “right with [stroke]”, “all together”, etc.

“That’s it, you’re right on your rhythm…”

Drexel Women’s Freshman 8+ Scrimmage vs. Bucknell

Just a couple quick notes on this recording. I love pretty much everything about it except for one thing … one pretty major, super obvious thing. Her aggression and tone at the start and throughout the entire race is spot on (this really is a great example of what you want to sound like) but holy shit, the counting is beyond ridiculous. The rowers know how to count – they don’t need you to count out every single stroke of the 2000m race. 

At 2:19 she says “body swing in five”, which is fine (ignoring the whole counting thing in this particular instance) but make sure you say over 5, not in 5. That’s an important distinction that you don’t want to mess up. “In 5” means that after five strokes, X will happen. “Over 5” means that over the course of five strokes, X is happening.

Related: “In” vs. “Over” vs. “On”

I really wouldn’t change anything about this other than the excessive amount of counting. Ignoring that though and thinking about the overall piece, I’d say this is a solid example of what a collegiate coxswain should sound like.

Other calls I liked:

“They’re gonna kick it up, we’re gonna kick harder…”

“Hold the open water and take it away…”

You can find and listen to more recordings by checking out the “Coxswain Recordings” page.

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