Coxing Rowing Technique

Top 20 Terms Coxswains Should Know: Rush(ing)

This is going to be a new series of posts that go up on Wednesdays that highlight some of the “top terms” coxswains should know and understand. I got this idea from Tom Tiffany, who was the coxswain coach at Northeast Rowing Center this past summer. All these terms are ones that he felt were important for coxswains to be aware of so I decided to take it a step further and include what part of the stroke/stroke cycle does the term apply to, what it means, relevant calls, what to look for, effect(s) on the boat, and links to any elated posts or questions.

What part of the stroke/stroke cycle does it refer to

The recovery.

What does it mean/refer to

Rush(ing) is what happens when a rower (or several rowers) move from the recovery to the catch too quickly, meaning they’re coming up the slide in less time than it took to drive through the water. It lacks ratio and rhythm, in part because it requires the rower to pull themselves up the slide instead of letting the boat run out under them.

Relevant calls

“No weight on the legs…”, “Zero pressure on the stretchers…”, “Relax the legs…”

“Feel the run on the recovery…”

“Stride…”, “Lengthen…”, “Control…”, “Looong…”

“Get the bodies set early…”, “Hold the shoulders steady in the second half…”

“Match the hands out of bow to the boat speed, maintain that with the slides…”

“7-seat, make sure you’re backing [stroke] up, get on their rhythm and then send it back. 5 and 6, relax, focus on that swing through the back end and matching stern pairs movements up the slide.”

“Don’t pull yourself up the slide, let the boat come to you…”

What to look for

As a coxswain you’re going to feel the rush more than you can see it but there are still visual cues you can look for to tackle the rush before it gets out of hand. The main one is to look for blades/oar shafts that are moving towards bow faster than your stroke/stern pair’s. You can also count the ratio out in your head and if it’s closer to 1:1 instead of 2:1 or 3:1, particularly at lower rates then that’s an indication that the crew is rushing. You should also feel a loose “back and forth” motion that lacks any sense of control, in addition to feeling a jerking motion as the rowers come into the catch that will typically throw you into the back of the coxswain’s seat a little more violently than normal.

Effect(s) on the boat

Rushing the recovery is one of the main killers of boat speed. Lacking a defined contrast between time spent on the recovery and time spent on the drive results in either an individual’s or the entire crew’s weight being thrown toward the stern which creates check and results in a loss of speed.

Related posts/questions

Calls to control rush? There’s only so many ways to say “control the recovery” and “slow the slides.” Thanks!!

What the hell do I, as a stroke seat, do to calm outrageous rush?

(Scroll to the 3rd bullet point – “rush on the last 1/3 of the slide”) Hi! My coxing has gotten to the point where I can see the technical problems in my rowers, but sometimes I’m not sure how to call a correction on them. For instance, I know if someone is skying at the catch I can call the boat to focus on direct catches and “hands up at the catch” and things like that for stability…but there are others I’m less sure about. Would you please touch on good ways (positive reinforcement, they hate the word “no” in the boat) to call for the following problems in a rower?

Hi, I never know what it means when someone asks me what the boat “feels” like. Like the rush for example. I’m not sure what that feels like vs. a boat with no rush. Just in general, I’m not sure how to gauge whether a piece felt good or bad. I feel like the only things I can see are blade height, square up timing, catch timing, and if bodies are moving together, and I can tell if the boat was really moving and if there was power. But what else should I be aware of?

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!

Today our novice boat was SO rushed! No matter what the stroke, they’d hit it for like 3 secs, before flying 3 or more SR than was supposed to be. Stroke told me that she and 7 seat were trying to control it, but starting middle 4 on down, kept rushing. I tried to say “lengthen, ratio shift, control, etc.” while still saying their SRs. Nothing I said changed it, if anything SR went higher. I gave up by the end of it, since they weren’t listening. Coach didn’t help, just said follow stroke. Help?

To see all the posts in this series, check out the “top 20 terms” tag.

Image via // @drikus_conradie

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