From the novice boat: Coxing for the first time

If you’ve just joined the team (I just joined in June) or if you think you might want to join the team (trust me, you do!), you might be able to guess from the title what part of this deal scared me the most:

Coxing

With very few exceptions, everyone on this team takes a turn in the ninth seat, and that includes us newbies/novies. Once you’re solid enough on the basics, it’s time.

cox boxYou put on the headset, and you sit facing the teammates you’ve had your back to for months (and whose backs you’ve stared at). You switch port and starboard in your head, because your whole perspective just changed. Again. You squeeze into a “seat” built for a jockey, and off you go.

Well, off you go…when you say it’s time to go. The biggest shift is realizing that you’re the one calling the shots. You’ve just settled into the routine of, for the most part, just following instructions and doing your best, and now it’s your turn to drive.

(Were you one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get your driver’s license? I wasn’t.)

The good news is that the only surprise is when you’ll cox a boat, not if. And if you know you’re going to have to do it eventually, you have three practices a week to learn from those who go before you. Our squad benefited from the goodwill of volunteer coxes from the intermediate and advanced teams, and we’ve all had tremendous support from our own team-within-a-team; ain’t no shame in a boat full of novices. We’re all learning, and next practice, it could be be you up there.

That morning, it was me up there. Knowing that the day was going to come, here’s what I tried to do to prepare:

  1. I listened to how the coaches describe the drills and land commands. I tried to get familiar with how they were being called so I wouldn’t stumble too much and confuse everyone with weird commands.
  2. When I’ve been impressed or frustrated by a cox, I’ve tried to step back and figure out why. If they did something I thought was great, I tried to remember to steal it. I also tried to remember to avoid the stuff that didn’t feel helpful.
  3. I worked to build up some good karma by supporting my fellow novices as they took the rudder before me. For real — this is a team sport, no matter where you’re sitting.

I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t sign up to be a coxswain. You signed up to row. Think of it this way: Trust is at the foundation of EBRC. The club trusts you to handle tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Your teammates trust you to guide them safely through the water. All you have to do is trust yourself. (And don’t run into anything.)

Fellow novies and those who’ve been around the estuary a few times, what was your first coxing experience like?

~Jen Gingras


EBRC Learn to Row Day : July 20th

IMG_7593

Come one, come all down to the boat house on Saturday, the 20th of July for our second Learn to Row (LTR) of the Summer. We’re going to be going over standard rowing terminology, proper use of a land rower aka ergometer, take some strokes on the Oakland Estuary and learn all about the sport.

The EBRC Learn To Row Class will be held on Saturday, July 20th, from 10am to 1pm.
Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94607
 
For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact info@eastbayrowingclub.org

Our two-week LTR program will begin that following Monday the 22nd for all novice men, and the 23rd for all novice women. The two week learn to row class extends until August 3rd.

See you down at the boathouse!


Learn to Row Day(s) 2013

The East Bay Rowing Club has hosted two Learn to Row days in as many weeks. The first was with our local community, taking one and all for a guided tour around the boathouse, on the ERGs and onto the water! A glorious weekend day was welcomed by dozens of landlubbers wanting a taste of the pleasure and pain involved with our great sport. Attendees came from Alameda, San Francisco, and Contra Costa Counties to get a glimpse of what the EBRC is lucky enough to experience every day, a side of Oakland that is stunning and beautiful on the waters of the estuary.

Next up was a private event with our friends in the Coast Guard. Many cadets hopped off their cutter Stratton and it’s home base in Alameda, right down the road from us. We give them quite a bit of barking each morning at 6am, as the tip of their cutters mark our starting line for the 2k training sprints. I’m sure they get quite a kick watching the occasional boat dump or locking oars from some of our novice boats! A few dozen attendees from the USCG were quick to learn the seaward ways of port and starboard, and they even taught us a few things about knot tying and the tides. We’re looking forward to getting the invite to come and see their boathouse (hint hint).

Come one, come all down to the boat house on Saturday, the 20th of July for our second Learn to Row (LTR) of the Summer. We’re going to be going over standard rowing terminology, proper use of a land rower aka ergometer, take some strokes on the Oakland Estuary and learn all about the sport.

The EBRC Learn To Row Class will be held on Saturday, July 20th, from 10am to 1pm.

Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94607

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact info@eastbayrowingclub.org

Our two-week LTR program will begin that following Monday the 22nd for all
novice men, and the 23rd for all novice women. The two week learn to row class extends until August 3rd.


National Learn To Row Day – June 1, 2013

East Bay Rowing Club Celebrates National Learn to Row Day

In honor of the national campaign, East Bay Rowing Club is offering a free introductory class on sweep rowing.

Oakland, CA – May 06, 2013 – East Bay Rowing Club (EBRC), a competitive and recreational rowing club, announced today that it will offer a free Learn to Row class on National Learn to Row Day- Saturday, June 01, 2013.

USRowing, the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States, and Concept2, the oar and ergometer manufacturer, have encouraged rowing clubs around the country to introduce newcomers to the sport of rowing. More than 100 clubs throughout the United States are expected to participate. EBRC will open its doors for a free introduction to rowing in a fun and inspiring environment.

Participants can expect to:
– Tour the boathouse and get acquainted with rowing terms
– Learn the basics of the rowing stroke on an erg (indoor rowing machine)
– Understand basic boat handling
– Apply new skills with a short row in our barge and get a taste of rowing on the water
– Learn about opportunities to join our men’s and women’s teams

The session will take place from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Class size is limited, so participants are encouraged to register by sending an email with contact information to info@eastbayrowingclub.org. Drop-ins and all fitness levels are welcome. This event is designed for adults; however, if youth are interested in this program, please contact us for special arrangements.

Location:
Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero Ave, Oakland (South of Jack London Square – please note some GPS units do not route to the correct address)

What to wear and bring:
Comfortable but tight-fitting clothing, hat, socks, sunscreen, sunglasses and a bottle of water.

NLTR-2013-Flyer-EBRC

About East Bay Rowing Club

Founded in 2007, EBRC is a non-profit organization with a Master’s rowing program consisting of approximately 90 rowers, and a Youth rowing program that runs the Oakland Technical High School rowing program. Additionally, EBRC engages with military veterans and adaptive rowers. Through participation in the sport of rowing, EBRC emphasizes fitness, sportsmanship, safety, etiquette and environmental awareness of the Oakland Estuary, its wildlife and surrounding waterways. EBRC also trains athletes to compete in regional and national rowing competitions. Members of the Master’s team range in age from 22 to 74.

EBRC is always looking for new members to join the team. Oakland and San Francisco Bay
Area residents interested in the sport of rowing, experienced or not, should send an email to info@eastbayrowingclub.org to learn more.


Oakland Tech 2013 Summer Camps

Oakland Tech Rowing Flyer

A new series of summer camps have just been announced for youth rowers in the Bay Area. Led by Axel Stelter – former Cal rower, member of the German national team and, more prolifically – EBRC men’s head coach. Held at the Jack London Aquatic Center in Oakland, these sessions are a great introduction to the sport and preparation for the next year of high school rowing. Sessions start June 24th and run all the way until August 19th. Take one, take them all!

In addition to being a great way to gain collegiate scholarships, high school rowing helps shape discipline and commitment to a team and one’s own personal fitness. Oakland Tech’s teams will compete all across the state and country at youth rowing events. Learn a sport that will be with you for the rest of your life, something that you can enjoy forever.

Sign up now for Oakland Tech Rowing Summer Camps, open to everyone!
Session 1: June 24 – 28
Session 2: July 8 – 12
Session 3: July 22 – 26
Session 4: August 5 – 9
Session 5: August 12 – 19

Camps are from 12-3pm from Monday through Friday.
$200/student

For more information, email rowing@oaklandtech.org today! Don’t forget to like them on Facebook as well.


EBRC’s Inaugrual Team Building Event

EBRC Team Building Event

Thank you so much to WorkFit U for working with EBRC on a wonderful team building event on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The WorkKit team showed their grit and determination, going from a group of wide-eyed, novice land-lubbers to a in-sync team of salty veterans of the oar – all in the course of an afternoon! Whether it was helping set the balance of the boat or getting the cadence of the stroke seat, their team was eager and willing to become a tight crew, moving the boat together.

To book some time for your team out on the estuary, contact EBRC today – we look forward to working with your corporation to have a great event.


Learn to Row Day : July 21st @ JLAC

East Bay Rowing Club is hosting opened its doors to the public on National Learn to Row Day, Saturday, July 21st, 2012. Visitors toured the boathouse, got a crash course in indoor rowing (erging), along with the basics of the rowing stroke and a brief overview of the equipment used and programs offered at East Bay Rowing Club. Despite the somewhat windy conditions, visitors got out on the water with a quick trip out into the estuary in an “eight” with an experienced coxswain and rowers to guide them. Looking forward to our next event in January.