Coxswains are often compared to jockeys, quarterbacks, or some other form of screaming taskmaster. But our role is greater than that.
By George Kirschbaum
Photo Peter Spurrier
So much of coxing is mental. We have to know both ourselves and our athletes and then understand how to use that knowledge effectively. The first part of this complex equation is being honest with yourself. What do you want? What are you willing to give to your role as coxswain? And how important are these in relation to the rest of your life and your team? Answering these questions honestly is critical to getting at the core of where you are as an athlete. Once you do this, your outlook and demeanor behind the steering cables will change and your athletes will pick up on it.
From here, your connection with your athletes will only grow deeper. What you say to them will be truth. Ten more strokes to the line? They’ll believe it. More legs at the catch to take one more seat? They’ll try, even though every fiber in their body is telling them to stop. As coxswains, we are often compared to jockeys, quarterbacks, or some other form of screaming taskmaster. Our role is all of that and more. Through our relationships with our athletes we are coaches, cheerleaders, motivators, and drivers toward success. Our words, our personal truths, and the honesty we share with our teammates makes us catalysts for greatness. Harness this and you will do amazing things.
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January 2017 | Volume 23 Number 12