As we approach mid-spring from the coxswain seat, it's important for us to reflect on the races we've competed in so far and use those experiences to guide our boats forward thoughtfully. As coxswains, we play a crucial role in helping our teams achieve success on the water by motivating our rowers, communicating with our coaches, and making split-second decisions mid-race that can make all the difference. It is important to leverage past race experiences to build upon your boat's strengths and address your weaknesses, allowing you to maximize your speed and potential each race weekend.
When we win races, it's important to celebrate our successes and acknowledge the hard work that went into achieving them. However, it's equally important to use those victories as a learning opportunity. What did we do well? What can we improve upon? On the other hand, when we lose, it's important to analyze what went wrong and how we can do better next time. By taking an honest and constructive approach to our past performances, we can use those experiences to guide us in future races and help our teams achieve even greater success on the water.
After each race, take some time to reflect not just on your race from start to finish, but also all the things that went into it. How did the warm-up go? What was the vibe of your boat at the hotel before the race, or even the night before? What was the week of practice like leading up to your race? Get a pulse on the headspace of the 9 or 5 so you can use that to guide you moving forward.
Once the race weekend is over, going back into practice with a good mindset is key. Whether you won or lost, how do you build momentum going forward? The answer is by carrying over the good and building on the things that fell short. Monday after a race, when you get in the coxswain seat, set the tone for that week. Address what went well and what needs work, and give your crew the tools on how to get there. What is the next checkpoint to test out what you've been working on? Whether you have 1 or 3 weeks till the next big race, it is important to use your time well and be on a mission the first day back after travel.
Be a leader from the coxswain seat, and help propel your crew forward by building on your races each week! Rather than starting fresh when you come back from a race, talk about how you can create forward-moving momentum at this point in the season. Help your boat stay accountable, and keep pushing towards the larger collective goal!