By George Kirschbaum

How to Select a Cox

For coaches, selecting a coxswain can be harder than selecting the crew. No two coxswains are alike—each has his or her unique personality, experience, and voice. Coaches need to take time to get to know them on a personal level in order to learn how they will approach their role and where they might fit best on a team.

Every coxswain has his or her own unique personality, experience, and voice. 

Selecting coxswains also requires that you hear and see how each candidate performs in practice and race situations. On-board audio and video recordings are great tools to assess what they say, how they say it, and when. This information, coupled with what the coach observes from the launch, paints a full picture of how the coxswain performs under pressure. Once you have your data, you can begin evaluating. Create a checklist for what you are looking for. Do they execute practice plans and race strategies effectively? Do their calls motivate and elicit technical changes? How are their steering and water safety skills? Ultimately the choice is yours, and this is where your understanding of your athletes comes in. The decision is not easy, but the right one will pay dividends when it counts most.


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