Confidence is a huge factor in winning, and little miscues can go a long way to eroding it. As a rowing official, I am always amazed at how often I see poor preparation before leaving the dock impairing a crew's ability to perform at their best.
Since coxswains are in charge of their boats once they are on the water, I thought that I would provide this checklist to help eliminate a few confidence- eroding mistakes. I've also made it into an audio file so that it can be downloaded into an iPod and kept handy.
Before you leave the dock, go through this ten point checklist and you will be better prepared for your race. You will be surprised at how this can increase your confidence on the water and your performance.
- Check the traffic pattern and course layout. Don't wait until you get on the water to erase any questions you might have about where to take your crew once you leave the dock.
- Know your event information - the number, the scheduled time, your lane assignment, and if multiple crews from your organization are competing, know if you are listed as the A, B, or C boat.
- If you are racing in a heat, you must know your heat number as well.
- Know your launch time and remember that there will be other crews wanting to get on the water too - so be sure to plan accordingly.
- If you must carry weight, pick it up and make sure that you get it on board with you
- Check the bow number on your boat. This is very important if you are to be properly identified at the finish. Often, when several crews share a boat, someone will forget to change the bow number. Make sure it isn't you.
- If you are in an event that requires pin-on numbers make sure that your number will be visible, not covered by a jacket or your hair.
- Prepare for the weather -- make sure you have adequate clothing if it is cold and liquids if it is hot
- Check your cox specific equipment, your amplification system and rudder.
- Oh! And lest you forget, remember to have fun!