After you’ve taught a new cox the basics there comes a time when you need then to start to drive their own improvement themselves.

You know the signs - they come and ask you questions after each practice outing - Why did you ask us to do that?   What can I do to beat the other cox?  How can I help get the crew going faster?

All great signs and of course you can and should answer these questions.

However, unlike rowing, it’s pretty hard to tell them to go to YouTube and watch videos of good coxing.  There just aren’t any.  A good cox makes it look easy - just like a swan gliding on the water - there is a lot going on under the surface!

But there is a quick and easy solution

Audio recordings for coxswains

Ask the cox to record themselves during the outing.  And listen afterwards to what they said.  

This is a marvellous self-tutoring tool because without the distraction of having to steer and manage the boat, they can just hear themselves and remember what was happening in the boat.  This form of visualisation can be a really helpful reinforcement for learning.

I am reminded of an anecdote that Thor Nilsen the FISA Director told me about a cox who influenced his own coaching skill 

“I remember van Anier coaching from the cox seat and he would close his eyes and look down while listening and feeling the boat and he would say “Number 2 you are too late”. And then he would crash the boat because he was not looking where he was going, he was concentrating so hard!”

Resources for coaching coxes recordings

Coxmate has collated some audio recording resources for you to share with your athletes.  Don’t neglect the rowers either - they can learn from these too!

Having used the Coxmate GPS unit for approximately 8-9 months now I consider it a preferable alternative to other units. It did take me some time to understand how to have the unit fully functional prior to use, but this is more likely an indication of my limited IT skills.

 

Once having mastered the functionality (and my own shortcomings) I find the unit to be reliable, informative, and easy to read and adjust, and good value. Although I don't take advantage of the units extended functionality I think it is an ideal and practical GPS unit and would recommend it as an essential tool to anyone contemplating competitive rowing.  

Philip Gebhardt

 

I've admired the Coxmate brand since buying an HC, attracted by it's superior features when compared with my NK speed coach (ratio, greater memory, more accurate less drag speed pick up, software...and price).
 
So I have followed "news" of the GPS model's development closely (whenever we caught up at regattas). What a brilliant approach to base the unit on an existing unit. Again he has surpassed the "opposition" by a long way. (I have used the GPS NK.)
 
More compact than I expected, yet legibility of the display very good for my aging eyes. Same great software.
 
Great options for mounting: the adaptation to fit the shoe track is my favorite! My single has a wing rigger with the NK mount out on the rear bulkhead, so reminds me I need to do more stretching every time I want to operate the button ...love the touch screen, (and front button) of the CM GPS! 
 
Just can't think of any aspect on which the Coxmate GPS is not superior to the NK ..and I'm yet to use the guiding function.  
Ian Bridgland
Erg Test motivation

Most of the time while training you will have a coach working with the crew.  The coxswain is the coach’s right hand man acting in two ways

  1. as his eyes and ears in the boat.  
  2. as the coach in his absence

Coaching in the rowing boat

For a coach to actually get into the boat gives a level of insight about how it’s running and the power is being applied which is hard to achieve from the coach boat or a bike on the bank.  Few coaches take the opportunity to do this, which is a shame.  I had a coach who was too large to fit into the coxswain’s seat and so sat on the back deck of the shell - effective and a lot more comfortable!

The coxswain can help the coach by telling them what you can see and feel happening in the boat.  Can you tell when the shell is running in a jerky manner or when the acceleration fades part way through the power phase of the stroke?  Tell the coach.  They can then look to see what’s causing it and give you and the crew guidance.

Being the coach

When your coach has given some instructions especially technique advice, it’s very helpful for you to keep the crew focused on the desired change.  So even when the coach boat is not alongside, you can remind the crew to keep the focus on that technical point.  In the early stages of learning a new technique you may use exercises and drills to teach it - get the crew to recognise the feeling they get when executing that drill and have them focus on making the same feeling when rowing ‘normally’ afterwards.  So as an example, rowing with arms crossed over the oar (sweep) isolates the lats muscles in your back and so you can work them hard.  When retuned to normal hand grip, tell the crew to activate their lats to make it feel like their arms were crossed over.  

One other aspect of being the coach which is particularly useful is when the cox uses the exact words that the coach used.  There is often a reason why s/he describes the technique in a particular way.  Reinforce that understanding using the same words to the crew.  When you change the wording to your choice, there’s the chance for ambiguity and mis-understandings to creep into the crew’s minds.  Keep it simple - same words, every time makes everyone understand the same thing for that set of words.

Now for advice from coxing expert Yasmin Farooq

Technical Coaching/Serving as Liaison Between Coach and Crew 

Unifying the team The coxswain’s primary technical goal is to make calls that unify the team. One way is to supplement the coach’s comments to individual rowers. For example, if the coach tells a rower to clean up her release, you could say, “Everyone, we’re going to take a ten to pull in high enough and cleanly push the puddles off of the blades.” While it’s important for the coxswain to identify individual flaws, the cox who can apply those corrections to whole boat improvements is a step ahead of the game. 

For longer pieces, try giving the boat one focal point “for the next minute” or “for this piece.” However, if you name a theme for a time frame or piece, stick to related comments. 

We have seen a high rate of failure with speakers. We have identified the cause as being an increase in amplifier power put out by the CoxBox Mini and CoxBox Plus. The old metal cased CoxBoxes had a maximum voltage (pk to pk) of around 10V. The current Mini and Plus are up around 24V. This equates to approximately a sixfold increase in power.

The maximum power into an 8 ohm speaker (as used in rowing boats) with old units was around 1.5 watts. However it has now increased to around 9 watts. Given that NK and Coxmate speakers have a 2 or 3 watt rating, it is not surprising we are seeing high failure rates. Whilst having powerful amplifiers will improve audio quality – provided speakers are capable of handling extra power, overpowering speakers will cause distortion and ultimately failure.

To address this imbalance Coxmate has upgraded its speakers to 6 watt maximum power and increased impedance to 12 ohms (8 ohm ones will also be available).  This means even at maximum volume the amplifiers will not exceed the speaker’s power rating.

Speaker Specification

The new speakers use a 3 inch cone (increased from 2.5 inches), which improves both efficiency and sound quality. The 12 ohm impedance also enables 4 speakers to be safely used with NK amplifiers (4 speakers at 12 ohms puts less stress on amplifier than 3 at 8 ohms).

The new speakers have been optimally designed for use in boats:

  • Use rare earth metal magnets to minimises weight – it is less than half the weight of an NK speaker.
  • The diaphragm has no wires penetrating it – less chance of corrosion
  • Includes a Microvent – allows air but not water to pass through. This ensures pressure inside speaker remains the same as ambient when temperature changes - If pressure builds up in speaker it will force the diaphragm out of position and create sound distortion.
  • Velcro fitting for ease of installation. (Screw lugs are also provided) 

Get an upgrade for your club

Understanding that there are many speakers in existence which are vulnerable to being destroyed, we are offering the following upgrade service:

Speakers less than 12 months old: We will replace the speaker on your SP, Mod-D or Mod-C at no charge, excepting freight. This will be an exchange service.

Speakers over 12 months old: For $25 (inc GST) per speaker plus freight we will replace the speaker on your SP,  Mod-D  or Mod-C . This will be an exchange service. The new speakers will be returned with a 12 month warranty.

Costs and arrangements outside of Australia may vary.

To take advantage of this offer, please contact our office.  Tell us how many speakers you have which you wish to upgrade.

We're not known for blowing our own trumpet - but when our product development efforts get testimonials back from athletes like this, we like to share!

The Coxmate GPS was launched at the Australian Masters Regatta and sold like hot cakes.  Take a read for yourself and decide if these improvements would make you switch over to Coxmate.

Roly Dankbars, Torrens Rowing Club 

I have used the unit in the dark, where it lights up brightly, displays clearly for easy reading, and even throws light on the rower which assists coaches being able to see rowers, and also enables the unit to be used as a torch.

I have used the unit in morning daylight and still found it easy to read.  The suction cup has worked well in most boats depending on the nature of the surface.  I like the universal joints in the mounting bracket.  My plan would be to buy extra mounting suction brackets and or straps which I could then leave in the boat.

Displays of stroke-distance and average pace are ones I intend using.  Accuracy of data – especially rate and speed is generally excellent.  Occasionally the unit gives a false reading which seems to correct on the next stroke.  Maybe I’m imagining it, but I seem to get fewer false readings in smaller boats.

 

Philip Gebhardt, Mannum Rowing Club

Having used the Coxmate GPS unit for approximately 8-9 months now I consider it a preferable alternative to other units. It did take me some time to understand how to have the unit fully functional prior to use, but this is more likely an indication of my limited IT skills.

 

Once having mastered the functionality (and my own shortcomings) I find the unit to be reliable, informative, and easy to read and adjust, and good value. Although I don't take advantage of the unit's extended functionality I think it is an ideal and practical GPS unit and would recommend it as an essential tool to anyone contemplating competitive rowing.

 

 

Ian Bridgland, Corio Bay Rowing Club

 

I've admired the Coxmate brand since buying an HC, attracted by it's superior features when compared with my NK speed coach (ratio, greater memory, more accurate, less drag, speed pick up, software...and price).
 
So I have followed "news" of the GPS model's development closely (whenever we caught up at regattas). What a brilliant approach to base the unit on an existing cycling unit. Again Coxmate has surpassed the "opposition" by a long way. And I have used the GPS NK unit too.
 
It's more compact than I expected, yet legibility of the display very good for my aging eyes. Same great software.
 
Great options for mounting: the adaptation to fit the shoe track is my favourite!  My single has a wing rigger with the NK mount out on the rear bulkhead, so reminds me I need to do more stretching every time I want to operate the button!  
 
And I love the touch screen, (and front button) of the Coxmate GPS! 
Just can't think of any aspect on which the Coxmate GPS is not superior to the NK....and I'm yet to use the guiding function.

 

Ready to give the Coxmate GPS a try for yourself?  Buy from our shop and we'll look forward to adding your testimonials to the list above!