We have almost completed day three of our August Coxswains Only Camp in Oklahoma City.
Today, we added more layers of complexity to the essential coxswain skills we covered yesterday. This time, we discussed boatfeel – what it feels like for something to be going wrong in a boat, and how to go about fixing it. Coaches Simon, Simkin, and McElhenney began this topic with a lecture inside the finish line tower before lunch.
After the lecture, our coxswains enjoyed a fun activity – the high ropes course at the Oklahoma City Boathouse District. The coaches relaxed at the bottom of the eighty-foot structure and listened to the coxswains chatter up above as they encouraged each other to climb across the obstacles.
In the afternoon, coxswains and rowers together practiced addressing some of the most ubiquitous technical issues that crews face on the water. Though the camp is for coxswains, the rowers learned from the exercises as well. After practice, coxswains compared notes and talked to each other about what they felt while they were on the water.
As our coxswains move through the camp, they learn to turn to each other for feedback and for another perspective on the challenges they face in the coxswain seat. They discover the differences between their coxswain styles, but they also notice commonalities among the group. This ability to look to others for feedback – an essential one for a good coxswain – will stick with them after the camp, so they will have a resource to help them continue to improve their coxing long after they leave Oklahoma City.