When giving commands, at all times it is important to be clear and be CONSISTENT, so that the rowers always know what to expect. For instance, always count down in the same way, or always give the same instructions when putting a boat in the water. Always give your commands as the rowers take the catch Say clearly what you are going to want the rowers to do, when you want them to do it, and then tell them to do it.
ON LAND

With all instructions on land,

tell the rowers what to do…say ‘ready’

then tell them to do it (or count down) e.g. “up to shoulders on three…

one…two…three”, or “up and over heads…ready…up”.

Rowers should expect to wait for the command rather than just doing it in their own time.
You should not leave them waiting too long for the final instruction.

 

Taking the Boat Out


Have rowers organize themselves by height and stand two at each end of the boat.

“Hands on, lift the boat an inch and slide it away from the rack”

“Walk the boat carefully into the boathouse watching the riggers”

(For boats on higher racks, take it up to heads when the stern is clear of the end of the boathouse)

“Swing the stern round carefully”

“Lift on one side to avoid knocking the riggers”

“Weigh enough!” (loudly)

 

When Out of the Boathouse

“Take it up to shoulders…ready…up”.

Walk with the boat to the dock, checking bow and stern to see if all is clear.

 

On the Dock

“walk it down slowly, keeping to the center”

“we will be going off the right/left side”

“Feet to the edge….one hand center.” (don’t keep them hanging around at this stage)
“..Lower it gently into the water” Be prepared to help here, especially with smaller rowers.

When the boat is in the water, stay with it to keep it from drifting away. It helps to hold onto the boat while the oars are being put in for extra stability.

Designate jobs ie – ” Ports get oars and starboards to oarlocks”

 

Getting into the Boat

“count down from bow when ready”

“Slide the oars across; seats back”

“All four, one foot in……down and in”

“Tie in your foot stretchers and number off from bow when ready”

“Hold for Coxwain” 

 

When Ready to Go


“Push away from the dock”

“Keep oars up”

 

Getting out of the Boat and Putting it Away

“Hold for Coxswain ”

“All four, one foot back…up and out”

“Bring the oars across”

Hold onto the boat while the rowers remove their oars.

Designate jobs  ie “ports get oars and starboards do oarlocks”

 

Walking into Boathouse

The rowers distribute themselves along the boat:

“Hands on…..up and over heads…ready….up”

“Walk it slowly up the ramp”

“Split and down to shoulders….ready….down”

“Slowly into the boathouse watching the riggers”

 

To move a boat that is right side up, from the water to slings

“Show your split, READY?….down to shoulders”

“Weigh-enough”

“To the waist, READY?…down”

“To the stretchers, READY?….down”


ON WATER

In the water,

the commands are said on the catch, and the dots reflect the pause during the succeeding stroke:

Say clearly what you are going to want the rowers to do,

when you want them to do it,

and then tell them to do it.

Rowers should expect to wait for the command rather than just doing it in their own time.
You should not leave them waiting too long for the final instruction


 
When starting to row from rest

First state who is to row: “All four”, “bow pair to row, stern pair set the boat”, “port side to row” etc.

Then state the type of stroke to be taken: “Full slide”, “half slide”, “backing strokes” etc.

“Sit ready….” (wait till the blades are in their proper position – hands against chest, lay back position – and the boat is set)

“…ready all…..row”


 

To Stop the Boat

“Weigh enough”

To stop the boat fast: “Hold water!” the rowers will square their blades in the water to stop the boat.

 

To change a pair of rowers from balancing to rowing
- during warm-up

When rowing the cox’n may want to have only have some of the crew rowing, if they want to change something they could do something like the following:

“In TWO, 3 and 4 to drop out, 5 and 6 to add in”

“ONE’                      (at the catch of 8 seat)

“TWO”                 (at the second catch of 8 seat)

“On this one”     (said immediately after TWO)

The rowers 3 and 4 should continue to row until the RELEASE of stroke TWO, at that time they will begin to balance the boat with their oars. The 5 and 6 rowers will continue to balance the boat,until the RELEASE of stroke TWO, at which time they will begin to row following the stern pair of rowers.

 

To increase the stroke length or pressure

“ONE”               (at the catch of 8 seat)

“TWO”              (at the second catch of 8 seat)

“On this one”   (said immediately after TWO)

 

When turning around

Make sure you are not too close to the shore line or any other obstacle.   To turn – one side backs and the other side rows.

“Port side backing, starboard side rowing.

……from the release……ready……..row

…..back….. row”.

Rowers should only move their backs and arms when spinning the boat — no legs.
When their oars are recovering, they should be dragged across the water.

Generally for an experienced crew, no need to call the row and the back sections, they are just following the body movements of the person in front of them.


 
Other rowing commands

“take it up to full pressure in three strokes….three….two….one….go”

“half slide….next stroke…go”

“way enough in three….three….two….one, way enough”


 
During longer rowing pieces

When doing pieces, count out power tens every couple of minutes (in a short piece) or longer. Count groups of ten strokes concentrating on particular aspects of the stroke, such as fast hands or strong
legs, to make the piece more interesting and focused for the crew.