College Coxing Recordings

Coxswain Recordings, pt. 8

Marin Rowing Alumni 8+

This is just a short little snippet of what I assume was a practice row or something but I wanted to share it for two reasons. The first is how he calls the crew back down a beat at 0:14. Instead of saying “bring it down” or some other annoying phrase like that, he says “let’s relax together one beat…”. I like this because it just sounds more effective than “bring it down” but also because when you’re only trying to come down one beat, you don’t really need to change that much with the slides or speed through the water – all you’ve gotta do is relax a little.

The second reason is for how he calls the crew up two beats to a 32 (0:33) and 34 (0:54), especially the 34 one. I like how he calls “legs down boom” and “pump it” (or whatever he says … initially I thought he said “bop it” which made me think of that toy from the 90s) as they bring the rate up and then “sustain it” once they’ve hit it.

2012 University of Tennessee Practice

I can’t embed this video so you’ll have to click over to YouTube to watch it. It’s from one of Tennessee’s morning practices and has some good clips of warmups, steady state, pieces, etc. in it.

During the warmup/steady state at the beginning, one of the calls she makes is “distance per stroke by 6s”. This is usually what you’re going for when doing low-rate stuff and an easy way to see if you’re gaining or losing distance per stroke is by watching the puddles. Usually steady state pressure is when bow seat’s puddle is somewhere near the stern deck by the time you take the next stroke (it’s all relative based on the strength/experience of your crew) so it’s important to make sure you know the baseline for where your crew’s puddles usually end up after each stroke so you can gauge how the boat’s running.

For about 20 seconds between 2:20 and 2:40 she’s making some aggressive-ish calls related to the catch but a lot of the rowers are rowing it in and not matching up with what she’s asking for. This is largely on you – you’ve first gotta have a good understanding of the stroke and how what happens on the recovery (i.e. roll up timing) sets up the catch so you can make the necessary calls to ensure the catches are actually on point before you start making calls for how powerful they should be. Driving before the blade’s in the water is just wasted energy and speed.

At 4:55ish when she realizes there’s something on her skeg, she tells bow pair to drop out to stabilize the boat and then sticks her arm in the water to clear the skeg while stern six is still rowing. They’re not gonna be able to take good, clean, effective strokes when you’re throwing the set off by reaching under the boat so you might as well weigh enough for 10 seconds, clear the skeg, and then pick it back up. You should also not try to grab stuff out of the skeg while the boat’s moving anyways (you run the risk of hitting another piece of debris that smashes your fingers against it and slices them open – I’ve seen that happen and it is not pretty).

Overall I think this was some decent steady state. I think her tone was good but could have been a little more chill for the majority of the pieces; not every call needs to be so punch-y. I think as you’re coming into the end of a piece it’s OK to transition to a more race-y tone/style of coxing (even though you’re still doing steady state) but you should be building into that rather than this being your baseline tone throughout practice.

Other calls I liked:

“Every inch out of that finish…”

“Simple strokes, simple movements…”

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