Coaching/Coxswain Calls

Here are a few calls and reminders that you can use during a practice or race.

General calls

  1. Swing/move together
  2. Control the oar
  3. Find your rhythm
  4. All together; work together
  5. Focus
  6. After two, one, two, on this one (for transitions)

Body posture

  1. Stay tall
  2. Keep the chest open at the finish, shoulders wide
  3. Relax during the recovery

Moving the boat

The concept of moving the boat versus moving the water or moving their bodies

  1. At the drive ‘push the boat away’
  2. At the finish ‘send it away’
  3. ‘Lock, send’ or ‘Catch, send’

Recovery sequence

‘Arms, body, slide’

A good recovery leads to a good drive, will help with timing and boat balance, and will ensure maximum run of the boat between strokes.

For the whole practice, have the rowers focus on the recovery sequence. You can work on one part at a time, calling each phase by name and giving them quick tips.

  1. ‘arms before back’
  2. ‘quick hands away, not rushed’
  3. ‘nice and smooth’
  4. ‘level hands as you move forward’
  5. ‘stay relaxed’
  6. ‘move from the hips; stay tall’
  7. ‘take your time on the slide, don’t rush it’
  8. ‘watch the skying – keep the handle high at the catch’
  9. ‘long reach’

Catch sequence

  1. ‘quick, clean catches’
  2. ‘keep your shoulders steady’
  3. ‘drop it in’
  4. ‘drop and drive’
  5. ‘sit up nice and tall’

Drive sequence

A good drive is critical to a fast boat. Work on one part of the drive for a few minutes at a time, calling each phase by name and giving the rowers quick tips to focus on the correct movement.

  1. ‘legs first, keep your body forward on the initial push’
  2. ‘hold your core’
  3. ‘swing from the hips, stay tall’
  4. ‘draw in all the way to your ribs’
  5. ‘keep the handle high to keep the blade buried’
  6. ‘push the boat away’

Finish sequence

At the finish, send the boat away and let it get a full run. It is critical that the rowers do not upset the balance of the boat as the finish the stroke.

  1. ‘keep the handle high at the finish’
  2. ‘long, finish’ or ‘long, send’
  3. ‘tap down on the outside hand to get the blade out of the water’
  4. ‘down and away’
  5. ‘careful not to feather while the blade is in the water’
  6. ‘tap down with your outside hand, then feather with your inside hand’

Motivation calls

Choose from the following list to add to your practices or races when you need to motivate and encourage the crew. Repeat specific calls as needed.

  1. Breath it away
  2. Hold strong on the legs
  3. Swing together
  4. Long and strong
  5. Send it away
  6. Beautiful job
  7. Feeling strong
  8. Moving well
  9. Nice and sharp
  10. Drive, send
  11. Boom, send
  12. Accelerate together
  13. We’re movin’ now
  14. x minutes in
  15. x meters to go before the turn/finish
  16. You’ve got lots left in those legs
  17. Power 10, ready, on this one
  18. Take me in with power
  19. Drive it through
  20. Drive it away
  21. Stay with it
  22. Nice and sharp
  23. Going home with length and power
  24. Take me to the line
  25. Make it fly!
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