As my friends at Row2k said this week, the “May Madness” racing season is coming to an end with Stotesbury (aka #floatsbury2018), SRAA’s, a host USRowing regional youth championships, Dad Vails, Eastern Sprints, NCAAs, and a host of others. Most of the high school and collegiate rowing community is winding down for summer fun, but what should coxswains? I know it been a long season for many, but this is a good time to reflect, recharge, and look ahead to what you want to do next season! To use your time wisely, this is what I suggest:
- Reflect. Take some time to think back over your season and about your coxing. What did you like about what you were doing and what didn’t you like so much? Review those audio/video tapes again (I know, it may hurt, but it’s worth it) and make a list of pluses and minuses. Not sure what you are missing? Find an audio or video feed from a quality coxswain and compare yours to theirs. Even ask your coach and rowers for feedback.
- Goals. Spend some time figuring out how you will go about making the changes. Set some goals for coxing and remember to keep them S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). Have a plan and know what you want to accomplish as you go forward.
- Different. See about coxing a group of people (age, gender, sexual orientation, experience level, etc.) because doing so will open you up to different experiences which will enhance your relationship with the sport and with your coxing.
- Leadership. Find different leadership opportunities to be involved with over the summer. Coxswains are inherently leaders and learning how to work with and manage people can be a huge help with your coxing. From camp counselor to volunteering in a hospital or shelter setting can teach you a lot.
- Angles. Try a different angle by riding in a launch with a quality coach or taking time to learn to scull. Maybe you can volunteer at a local regatta. Any of these things will give you a new perspective and teach you more about the sport you love. That, in turn, will help you with your coxing.
There are many opportunities for growth in the offseason. Make sure you take advantage of them and have fun!