2k Race Guide 

The Day Before 

  • Look up heat sheets/race times/rules of the racecourse
  • Write down the event number, heat, lane, and race time (also if available the appropriate launch time)
  •  Charge Coxbox or know who is bringing the Coxbox for you
  • Sleep 8 hrs, you being drowsy is not good
  • If you are a coxswain who needs weights to make the minimum weight bring some ziplock bags and duck tape
  • Ask your rowers what they do and do not want to hear, keep note of that

Race Day 

  • Go to coxswain meeting and weigh in
  • Ask questions if you have them, now is the time
  • You are responsible to make sure your boat gets rigged and the oars are here. Double check both
  • Make sure all your rowers are there
  • Make sure you get them warming up 30 min before launch
  • Get them all to go to the bathroom before launch
  • Try and keep the rowers together, know where everyone is 

Warm Up 

  • Follow rules of the racecourse
  • Don’t do power moves near the finish or start line
  • If the water way is small, stop rowing with a race is passing down the course
  • Follow your coaches warm up and keep an eye on the time
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: you are completely responsible for getting your crew to the start line 10 min before your race time!!!
  • Make sure your rowers have a chance to check the riggers and footboard wingnuts before you enter the start.

Things to Keep In Mind 

  • Remember your rowers NEED to hear at least every 500m
    • where they are in the race (ex 500m down or 1000m down)
    • what the stroke rating is 
    • where they are in reference to other boats 
  • Do not use the phrase "almost there" more than 1 time and only during the last 500m W
  • You have to steer the straightest course possible, try your absolute best to not be messing with the steering to much
    • the more you move your hands around the more the skeg will keep slowing them down 

The Start 

  •  You need to be the calm for the boat (don’t act nervous,  Fake it till you make it)
  • Remember as soon as you pull into the stake boats you have to be ready to go and so do your rowers
  •  Get your point fast and keep it there using small sculling stroke
    •  You are responsible for having your point ready
  • Have your rowers sit ready at ½ slide with the oars completely buried
  • Have your rowers go on the starter
  • IF you happen to lose your point and it is dangerous for you to go, DO NOT GO! You can just sit there, the ref has to bring the race back and start over. Those few seconds will feel like an eternity. 

The First 500m

  • Stay with your race plane (ex if you are suppose to settle to a 32, settled to the 32, don’t think just cause your rowers are moving well at the 36 they will be have to keep it up for another 1500 meters.
  • Keep your rowers in the boat, do not let them get taken away with what is going on around them (remind them heads in the boat)
  • Get them applying pressure together with the legs
  • Get rid of any rush now! Do not let it start early


  • Don’t let the field of boats walk away from you, the rowers will get mentally discouraged if they can’t see the boats in the view
  • Motivation: create smaller goals to keep them on track
    • Make your moves and keep them motivated on getting to the 1000m mark
    • Move on a boat near you, have them take a 10 to move up a seat or two on another boat (call it out as you move down the opposing boat)
    • If you have splits keep them on their goals, telling them to bring down the split does work better then just telling them to “go faster”
  • Keep your tone varied, only screechy yelling can be tuned out by exhausted rowers 


  • This mentally is the hardest pt of the race for most rowers, they get the rush of the passing the 1000m mark and then the exhaustion is still there
  • STAY positive and aggressive, remind them what they want and what they have to do to get it
  • Keep them moving on other boats! This will help distract them from the pain/discomfort going on.
  • Do some moves and again get them set up for a good finish of the race
  • Call out names of rowers to keep them engage
    •  Hearing your name is much more effective


  • This is the exciting part, get your rowers excited for the case again
  •  If you need to call your sprint early make sure it is something they can keep up till the end of the race
  • Get them to keep their shoulders down during the drive and be hard on the legs during the drive
  • After the 300m mark, be sure to tell them where they are all the way to the end
    • They have to know when they hit the 200m, 100m mark, and also the last 10 strokes
    • They should also know where they are in the pack (if they are in 2nd tell them, and tell them what they have to do to get 1st)
  • You have to call the sprint, and they have to do it together!
    • Tell them exactly how they should do it as well (ex: bring up the stroke rating 2 beats with fast legs)

2k Recordings 

Below are some recordings which contain good elements. Truly the best way to learn is to see and hear examples. There are many different styles of coxing as well. Each coxswain is just a little different, but you will notice that the key elements are all there. You have to find your own voice in the boat, with experience comes confidence. The trust of your rowers will be won through your own skills and your willingness to learn.