Hi! I just finished my first season of coxing and am now on the varsity team. Due to a shortage of coxswains, I got put on a pretty good boat by default and the girls expect a lot. My novice coach didn’t really teach me how to spot and correct poor technique and my current coach has not been super helpful about it either. Do you have any advice on what to look for or any videos to recommend? The general problems in the boat are rush and set. Do you know any specific problems that could cause this that I could make corrections on? Thank you!
As far as what to look for, check out the post below. There’s a couple different issues addressed in there, including the set, that should give you a good starting point. A couple other posts that might be helpful are these three from the aptly-named “things that affect the set” series on handle heights, timing, and bladework.
Related: “So, what did you see?”
When it comes to rush, it starts with timing out of the back end – getting the hands and shoulders out together first so that when the slides start, people aren’t already behind and having to play catch up (which then checks the boat’s run). I’ve always found double pause drills to be a good drill to do because it gives you a couple checkpoints throughout the recovery to collect yourself as a crew and ensure you’re all moving into the next phase of stroke at the same pace. (I talked a lot more in detail about this in this post and the “top 20 terms” post linked below.) Definitely ask your coach if you can throw some pause drills into your warmup if you feel like the rush isn’t getting addressed elsewhere throughout practice.
Related: Top 20 terms: Rush(ing)
All of those links should put you on the right track to being able to spot and correct some of the basic issues you’re seeing but what’s going to help a lot more is keeping track of what you’re doing and seeing during practice, making note of any questions you have (either on what you saw, technical stuff you’re unsure of, etc.), and then spending a few minutes going over it with your coach a couple times a week. It’s unlikely that they’re gonna ask if you understand or have questions so you’ve gotta take the initiative and approach them yourselves in order to get the info/clarification you need.