It’s All Coming Together

It’s all coming together.

On the water today our coxswains spent time understanding how to manage practice and understand boat feel. Coaches often have their rowers feel the difference between correct and incorrect technique, but coxswains rarely take the time to focus on the difference from their perspective. Our coxswains have gained valuable insight from their coaches and teammates, and tomorrow will put it all together as we simulate racing. Coxswains will have two opportunities to implement their race plan (and ample time to evaluate and make corrections in between).

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We had a fun night out to dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and as tradition, took our group photo on the walk back. The hotel staff prepared a s’mores party for us, though it probably would have been better received in less than 90 degree heat! Regardless, we had fun and the coxswains have been working diligently on their race plans.

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Staying Cool and Steering Straight in OKC

The heat index is rising, but our coxswains are doing a good job of staying cool – sunglasses, hats, and extra water are essential.

On the water today our coxswains finished rotating through docking, steering, and the building blocks of practice management. Essential skills of steering a 2k course involve remaining parallel to the shore and remaining parallel to each other. These steering skills are transferable to running a practice, where coxswains are expected to be able to keep boats together and aligned.

IMG_1238.JPGcoxswains planning practice

Off the water, coxswains learned the “how” of calls, and how to structure calls. Some assignments that the campers have been working on include analyzing the audio they brought to camp, planning practice for the next day, and working on a race plan.

One on one sessions continued this afternoon and our coxswains have started to open up and engage with each other, as well as with the coaching staff. In the evening, Coach Leanne Davis led a session on college recruiting that focused not on the necessary steps to take, but rather how to approach college choice in order to get the most out of the process


Rain, Rain Go Away

We awoke to grey, gloomy skies and the sound of rain in OKC this morning, but the upside was cooler temperatures!

IMG_0217coxswains in the tanks at Devon Boathouse

This morning, the coxswains split their time between the Finish Line Tower and Devon Boathouse. First stop at Devon – the tanks. As a coxswain, do you wonder why that seemingly easy (but long!) drill sequence is never executed properly? How many coxswains have ever tried to do this from the rower’s seat? Our coxswains learned first-hand that executing drilling sequences isn’t always quite as easy as it seems, and the changes in their demeanor and delivery that can have a positive impact on their crew.


Off the water, we focused on how to approach different types of steering situations and what coxswains need to be aware of when steering. Once they begin to master this seemingly simple task, we will begin to layer the rest of their coxswain responsibilities on top.

After lectures, lunch, and private coaching sessions, the grey skies had completely disappeared and we were able to go on the water to begin docking and steering sessions. While most coxswains think they have this covered, today they learned how much they actually don’t know and that there is always something new to learn.

In the evening, Coaches Sam Greenblatt and Malcolm Doldron led a Coxswain Q&A Session.

photo-6engaged coxswains in the Q&A session

Safe and Sound in OKC

All of our coxswains have arrived safe and sound in Oklahoma City to begin our Coxswains Only summer camp. We are excited to kick off the week of coxswain-centered education!

After initial meeting sessions with Coaches Laura Simon, Malcolm Doldron, and Sam Greenblatt, we headed to the boathouse district to get started. The afternoon started with a tour of the OKC facility, one of the most advanced rowing in the US. National Team and High Performance Team athletes regularly train here, and the resources available are often a surprise to our coxswains on their first day.

Coach Simon challenged the coxswains to define how they create change in their boat, and recognize the difference between being a motivational coxswain vs. an inspirational coxswain. Most of the coxswains arrived at camp prepared with their assignment to transcribe one of their recordings. After the lecture, they each went back to their rooms to begin evaluating their own articulation and oration skills.

Tomorrow, the water time begins.

Thursday in OKC

The morning started off hazy and humid with a threat of thunderstorms that never materialized. The morning our coxswains had the opportunity to run a practice, work on keeping boats level, and implement coach instructions.

IMG_5022lecture in the Finish Line Tower

The afternoon was spent on the water in Round 1 of racing! Coxswains have been working on a race plan this week and were able to implement that race plan during the afternoon. After practice they had time for reflection and to make changes before the final races tomorrow.

We had a fun night out to dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and as tradition, took our group photo on the walk back. It was fun to find all of our campers working so diligently on their audio and race plans for tomorrow while doing room checks tonight.


Boat Feel

It was a hot morning in Oklahoma City, but that didn’t slow our coxswains down. This morning was spent finishing up steering and docking skills. For those in the docking group, they had an opportunity to sit in the rower’s seat to listen to how their peers made calls. The biggest takeaway from this exercise was that even the simple tasks aren’t quite so simple.

IMG_4997-1coxswains practicing how to sit properly in an 8+

After lectures, lunch, and private coaching sessions, we went back on the water to focus on boat feel. Coxswains were able to experience common technical issues (rush, body position) but then had the opportunity to work on a few areas that they wanted to learn more about. Often times, coxswains might hear the same correction from their coach, but not actually understand the difference between what the boat should actually feel like. This was their chance to practice.

IMG_5014.JPG-1technical coaching on erg with Coach Greenblatt

The evening session on college recruiting focused on how to approach the process in order to get the most out of it. We answered their recruiting questions and covered common misconceptions in the process.

Everyone went to bed exhausted!