Coxing Q&A Rowing Technique

Question of the Day

Hi! Read your last post about rushing rowers. How can you tell which rowers are rushing? My view usually stops at 7 seat. Are you supposed to watch the oars to see if catches match? Thanks!

That’s about where my (and most coxswains) view stops too unless I tilt my head to look out of the boat. I normally do a few things to see if I can pinpoint who it is.


Does someone in the boat ALWAYS rush? Is your coach constantly telling one person to control their slides? This is one of the pieces of knowledge I rely on the most, especially when I’m in a bowloader.

Talk with your stroke

In my experience, the stronger the rush, the closer to the stroke it’s happening. In talking to my stroke and having them tell me how rushed it is, I can usually narrow it down to a specific pair. If it’s really strong and they’re getting thrown up the slide, I look to 5 and 6 to see if they’re where the rush starts. If it’s not too strong I’ll look closer towards bow.

Lean out

I don’t recommend this unless you can do so without rocking the boat too much. Sometimes leaning your head out of the boat can help you see the bodies a little better, which can help you see who’s rushing up the slide.

Talk to your coach

If I can’t tell where it’s coming from (which, to be honest, for most of us is the majority of the time) I’ll yell out to my coach and ask him if he can see from the launch where the rush is coming from. Since he has a perfect side view, I rely on his input a lot.

Watching the oars doesn’t really help that much when it comes to rush because someone could fly up their slide and then sit at the catch until everyone else gets there then drop their oars in at the same time as them. Their catch timing in that case would be near perfect but their slide control would be horrific. “Timing” as a call gets generalized too much I think. I try and only talk about timing when I’m talking about the blades, but if I do make a call about timing with the slides I’ll specify “let’s watch the timing on the recovery” or “let’s get the timing on the slides together”. Otherwise I’ll stick to calls about ratio, slide control, etc.

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