(Original post by dobbs)
Being a 5'7 male I have both rowed and coxed due to being too short to be a particularly effective rower (unless I'm in a single!) and actually sort of too tall/heavy (68kg) to be an effective cox. But I think firstly it's good to have done both, so my first advice is as soon as possible try and do some rowing yourself (the summer is a good time to do this) just so you know exactly what you're talking about when you're making certain calls.
I could go on for hours (I used to run the 'Learn to cox' course at my old club in Newcastle), but I'll stick to your question about calls for 2k races.
Firstly - rhythm. You'll find that your 'suitcase of calls' (i.e. those calls you are aware of and you know work well) will last longer if you don't just drone them out like you're having a regular conversation with your crew. Make your calls very short, snappy, and if possible on the catch and the finish....
"Right........I want........Next stroke......Sharper catches......Go!"
That's especially when you're giving a command, you can say things like "This is good boys, this is GOOD!" together, that's fine, but commands (particularly technical commands) should be sharp and in rhythm with the boat. And actually, they don't always have to be commands, this is going to sound stupid but I tried it once with the women I was coxing during one of our practice pieces and they LOVED it....make like a "Hurrrhhh" noise on the catch and then "Chaa" on the finish (this is hard to explain without making the noise. But it would go "Hurrhhh....Chaa! Hurrhhh...Chaa!" or if you're counting for something (not that counting is always good) use the Cha's again "Six...Cha! Seven...Cha!"
OK - actual calls:
(repeat over 3 strokes)
a particular favourite that my girls loved....."Lonnnnng
hold this from catch then on the finish say sharply...Strokes!
then the next stroke I would call Stronnnng
If you're calling for a longer stroke, then once you've called "Give me an extra inch forwards at the catch!!" or "Lean back into it!" then also call THERE
, for about three strokes, to try and encourage the increased stroke length to stick.
Usually about half way through a piece (or a couple of times if it's a 5k+) I will ask for a 'refresh':
"OK....we're going.......to REFRESH......so Sit UP.......Heads UP......Eyes IN......Strong CORE.....next stroke......SIT UP.....HEADS UP.....EYES IN.....STRONG CORE.....YEAHHHHH.....FEEL THE CHANGE!"
That's another one - if you make a change, acknowledge it
i.e. "That's GOOD! I felt the difference!" or simply "FEEL THE CHANGE"
Lots of positive strokes - try not to say "Don't do...." but rather tell people what TO do:
NO: "Bow, you're squaring late!"
YES: "Bow, early squares!, Let's see the change Bow.....GOOD CHANGE! FEEL IT!!"
...Could go on FOREVER
....PM me if you want more. There are some good websites out there and I think I might actually still have a good audio file recording of a Team Canada (I think) cox which is fantastic to pick tips from