Flashback Friday: September 17th – 30th


Race skills: Managing the nuances of a head race

Coxswain skills: Evaluating practices

Video of the Week: Boat strapping failure

Question of the Day: Do you have any advice on how to deal with getting offers during official visits (particularly when you have more in the coming weeks/month)?



Coxswain skills: Steering, pt. 2 (Always steering vs. never steering)

Question of the Day: Hi! This is my second year as a coxswain on a girls’ high school team. We just had some novices come in so they’re relatively new to the sport. I’m worried that I may be too mean/harsh with the rowers. Earlier today I was coxing a quad back to slings to wash it. It is difficult to move the boat from the dock to the slings – there are quite a few poles on the dock and around the slings area. I’d already told the rowers not to move and the next thing I hear, one end of the boat had come in contact with a pole (not exactly a crash but the boat had hit the pole). While the sound wasn’t too loud I immediately yelled, “I said, DON’T MOVE until I give a command!” I feel like I may have been too mean but at the time my only concern was to not wreck the boat. What is your opinion and how should I effectively take control calmly in this situation?

College recruiting: Contacting coaches, pt. 1

Coxswain skills: Boat feel

Question of the Day: Hey, so I’ve been dealing with a lot this past month. A kid who I went to elementary school with killed himself in a very public way at the start of the month, which was the Friday of preseason at my high school. I am a coxswain for my school’s varsity team and ever since he died I’ve been slipping in terms of my coxing skills. My coach hasn’t really noticed much change because this is my first season with her as a coach and we could not get on the water the entire first week of the season due to several factors. All she really has noticed is that I am not as loud this year as I was last year (I was the coxswain who didn’t have a box in the 8 so I got to yell and have everyone on this side of Cambridge hear me during practice…)

Unfortunately I do not go to school in my town and no one at my school knows the kids who I grew up with and when I try and bring up the topic with them, conversations die because who wants to talk about the death of a kid who they never met. I feel like it is really hard for me because last year when a girl from my school died suddenly all sports and activities were canceled for a while and grief counselors were brought in, where as I went directly from hearing of my friends death to coxing a boat the next day. Also during the summer a girl who I played youth sports with died of cancer and it was a tragic even for my town’s community, whereas now where nobody knows my friend in my current community I feel like no one really cares about it. I have tried talking to a counselor and friends but no one knows him so they don’t really understand.

I am finding it hard to motivate my self to get out of bed in the morning so how can I motivate my rowers to push them selves during a 2k test or a HOCR piece? I have been thinking about quitting crew but a) it’s just getting to racing season for us and I have no replacement, b) WTF who does that, c) crew is basically a third of my life (my days go school, crew, homework repeat) so if I quit I will end up moaning in my room all the time which is not something I want to take up.

Do you have any advice? Also PS I am only a sophomore in high school as were all my friends who died. Thanks and sorry this is so depressing.


Rowing Blazers Launch Party

Question of the Day: Hey! I’m the head cox on my team now (I’m a junior in HS) and I’m packing my very first fanny pack. Right now I have electrical tape, a 7/16 wrench and a Vespoli tool. Do you have any recommendations about what else should go inside? Also, I’m looking to buy a voice recorder. Obviously I want one on the cheaper side but it also obviously needs to be good. Any recommendations on that? Thanks so much!!

Interview with 2004 Men’s 8+ gold medalist coxswain, Pete Cipollone

Race plans for practice pieces

Question of the Day: I went on an official visit about two weeks ago. I am very interested in this school but I am still looking at some other schools (that don’t have rowing). I want to keep up a relationship with this school but I’m not sure what to say in an email to them. Thanks!


How to pass crews during a head race

Question of the Day: Hi, I am a college freshman, and am in an uncomfortable situation with one of my assistant coaches. I like her and think she is a good coach however other girls have said she’s a bitch. At first I thought they just didn’t like her being a hardass (even though I didn’t even see her as that) but then the other day I found her a walk-on and she said I was her favorite freshman. She also said it to everyone else at practice. At first I was thinking she was joking around but I also see the way she acts around all the other freshmen and she can be pretty mean to them, especially our cox. She also came up to me while we were erg testing and was saying what our top freshman split was and how I was under it and that she wanted me to beat it. She didn’t say much to anyone else. The others have noticed the favoritism and personally I don’t think it’s fair to them because they work just as hard as me. Any advice on handling this situation?

Navigating the starting chute at a head race


Question of the Day: Can a coxswain back out of a verbal commitment? I want to tell a very good D1 school that I will commit to go there but my coach said I should wait until after HOCR because I might be able to go to a better school if I do well. What should I do? Can you still go on an official to another school if you verbally commit?

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