Coxing Competencies

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Summary

This page attempts to summarise the basic competencies that you, as a cox, should be able to demonstrate, as you progress from a complete novice cox to one who wishes to be upgraded to experienced (X) status. The competencies below try to be as prescriptive as possible, but no amount of reading is a valid substitute for getting out there and learning by being in a boat.

This document is currently in its first draft - anyone who feels that this misses out a salient skill is encouraged to email secretary@ourcs.org.uk and help make this resource better. Better still, why not stand for OURCs Captain of Coxes?

The material below is split up in to seven areas; each area is divided into two sub-sections - "Minimum standards" and "Going beyond". It is expected that a cox that has just been promoted to X status is fully able to demonstrate all "Minimum standard" competencies, and is aiming at fulfilling a few of the "Going beyond" competencies. Accompanying each section is a "more information" spoiler box, which aims to expand on a point if required, in order that the main list is kept as concise as possible. Any point that leads on to the spoiler box is appended with a bracketed number

 1. Boat transportation

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

(1) At congested pontoons, especially Longbridges, it may be the case that 2 or more boats wish to put the boat out at the same time. If this is the case, you should liaise with the other coxswain; one boat puts the boat down, and bow/stern 4 immediately get in. The boat is then walked downstream, to allow the other crew to get their boat in. A similar process should be followed for multiple boats wishing to land, and ensures that as many crews can boat/dock as possible in a given time.

(2) A crew of women, or novices of either gender, will find it very difficult to rock a boat straight up to heads - unless they know how to correctly do it. In this case, you should get them to lift it out of the water, and rock "on three". You should make similar provisions if a rack is especially high or low for a crew.

 2. Basic commands and control

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

(3) See this HowTo guide

(4) This involves clever use of using two rowers on one side to hold up a boat and swing the bow or stern through a larger arc of displacement.

 3. Rowing acumen

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

(5) This includes modifying your speed going in to the Gut if the crew in front is slower; it also includes the rather more vague "sixth sense" of knowing that a crew around you is going to take an unexpected action.

 4. Boat manoeuvres

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

(6) For N -> X, we stipulate that a cox can land a boat with nobody pulling in the oar. The landing does not have to be elegant, merely that it is at an appropriate speed and safe.

 5. Coaching and drills

Minimum standards

Going beyond

 6. Safety

As a cox, you are in control of a vessel and so have legal responsibility. No matter what your coach may say (or shout!) at you, only make decisions that you are happy with. Novice coxes are required to have suitably experienced and skillful accompaniment at all times.

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

(7) For more information, see HowTo: Deal with an Incident

 7. OURCs Events

Minimum standards

Going beyond

More information:

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