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Welcome to Novice Coxing!

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Congratulations on taking the first step toward becoming a coxswain! If you are reading this, you are probably where all coxswains before you have started. Right at the beginning! As a novice coxswain, you have the exciting opportunity to learn the ropes and develop your skills in this important and rewarding role. While coxing can be challenging at times, it is also incredibly rewarding and can provide you with valuable leadership and teamwork experience that you can carry with you throughout your life.



So, where do you start? Here are some early fundamentals to consider as you begin your coxswain journey:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the basics of rowing: Before you can effectively lead a crew, it's important to understand the sport of rowing and how it works. Take some time to learn about the different types of boats, the parts of the rowing stroke, and the role of the coxswain.

  2. Learn how to communicate effectively: As a coxswain, your primary job is to communicate with your crew and provide direction and guidance. This means being clear, concise, and respectful in your communication, and using your voice to convey your message effectively. Practice speaking clearly and confidently, and work on developing your own unique communication style.

  3. Get to know your crew: As a coxswain, you are responsible for leading and motivating your crew, so getting to know and understanding what speaks to them is important. Take the time to learn about their goals, strengths, and weaknesses, and work together to create a cohesive and supportive team dynamic.

  4. Understand the importance of safety: Safety should always be your top priority as a coxswain. Familiarize yourself with proper safety procedures, including how to handle emergencies, and make sure that your crew is always wearing the appropriate safety equipment.

  5. Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the better you will become as a coxswain. So don't be afraid to get out on the water and try things out – even if you make mistakes along the way, learn from them. The more experience you have, the more comfortable and confident you will become in your role.

  6. Seek out coaching and mentorship: As a novice coxswain, you will have a lot to learn, and it can be helpful to have guidance and support from those around you. Seek out opportunities to work with experienced coxswains, coaches, and mentors, and be open to feedback and advice.

  7. Have fun! Remember that rowing is supposed to be enjoyable, so don't take things too seriously and try to have fun out on the water. The more you enjoy your time as a coxswain, the more motivated you will be to keep improving and learning.

By following these early fundamentals, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful and effective coxswain. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and ask for help along the way – everyone has to start somewhere, and the important thing is to keep learning and growing as a coxswain.


Good luck on your journey, and happy coxing! Please reach out if you are interested in one on one coaching, or a more tailored growth plan specific to you, your team, and your skills.

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