Q&A Teammates & Coaches

Question of the Day

I’m living with one of my captains and we’re having issues. Even though she works hard and her erg scores are consistently top 8 she’s in the 3V and our coach won’t tell her why. She was reasonably upset and she had every right to be and I was there for her. This was around mid to late September. A little while later, she started seeming annoyed, I tried being nice, and I tried giving her space, either way she’s been very snippy. More recently we went away for a race and only our 1V and 2V went. When I got back I tried to be quiet about it and not bring the trip up. I talked about these issues a couple times with another girl I’ve been rowing with since high school who also lived with her last year. She gave me some advice and I was planning on following it.

That night though she had another breakdown because she was so frustrated and upset because she didn’t even go as an alternate. I felt really bad and knew if I was in her position I would feel the same way, why do I work so hard if I’m not getting anywhere, but it also feels like she wants me to say that she deserves to be in the 1V over all 8 of us. She also has been making me feel really shitty about myself, the other day for example we were given a workout to do on our own because our coach could tell we were tired and was giving us the chance to sleep in and do a steady state work out. I decided the night before I was going to go at 7 but when my alarm went off I realized exactly how tired I was and decided to go after class. When she got back from doing the workout I went to ask a question but she got really sassy saying “So much for going at 7”. I tried to explain but she shut the door on my face before I could say anything. I only have a little over a semester left with her but I feel like I’m walking on egg shells around her and don’t know how much more I can take.

Yeaaa, situations like this are when rooming/living with friends really come back to bite you in the ass.

Here’s the thing. Your eight best aren’t always the best eight. She might have one of the top eight times but that doesn’t mean she has what it takes to be in the 1V, at least by your coach’s standards. Obviously your coach should be a little more transparent with her so that she at least knows what areas she could improve in but at the end of the day, all of that has nothing to do with you. I totally get wanting to be the supportive friend and being sensitive to the fact that this is bothering her but you shouldn’t have to tip toe around just to avoid setting her off. If she’s really a friend (forget the whole captain thing for a second) she shouldn’t be making snide remarks about when you do an on-your-own workout or be trying to get you to validate her by saying meaningless shit like “of COURSE you should be in the 1V“. I can get asking that in a “tell me I’m not being crazy here” kind of way where actual feedback/constructive criticism would be accepted and appreciated but given the context I feel like it’s coming off in a more “I deserve this over all you bitches” kind of way because of either seniority, being a captain, or whatever else.

I could really go on and on about what she should be doing but you probably know all of that already and again, it would just be reiterating the point that none of this has anything to do with you. It’s not fair that you’ve somehow gotten pulled into it but I think the best thing you can do in this situation the next time something comes up is to say that as her friend you want to be there for her but as her teammate things have gotten to the point where your relationship outside of practice is being negatively affected (elaborate as necessary) and that if she really thinks she deserves that spot she needs to stop talking/making passive aggressive comments to you about it and go discuss it with your coach. After that, be done with it. She’s either going to take the hint or keep being rude about it and if she goes with the latter, well, that’s her issue to deal with. You and the other eight people in that boat all earned your spots so don’t let someone, regardless of whether they’re a friend or not, make you feel bad about being there.

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