Part driver, part coach, and part motivator, the coxswain is a unique position in sports. The coxswain is responsible for the safety of the crew and is also called upon to provide technical feedback and strategy.
While not physically demanding, the coxswain requires leadership, knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness. The coxswain must be a clear communicator in order to command his or her crew to execute their movements at exactly the same time.
As the eyes, ears, and brains of a rowing crew, it is up to the coxswain to convey important information to the rowers including: updating the rowers on their whereabouts on a race course, indicating any upcoming challenges, identifying and correcting technical flaws, and motivating the rowers to perform their best.
Coxswains are typically small in stature, and so coxing can be an excellent way for otherwise non-athletic people to get involved with a team and take on a leadership role. It is exciting to be responsible for a crew and to make a difference in their performance. Rowing clubs are always in need of more coxswains, so if you or someone you know is interested in coxing, please contact your local club.
A list of Alberta clubs is available at http://albertarowing.ca/get-involved/clubs/