The coxswain’s primary technical goal is to make calls that unify the team. One way is to supplement the coach’s comments to individual rowers. For example, if the coach tells a rower to clean up her release, you could say, “Everyone, we’re going to take a ten to pull in high enough and cleanly push the puddles off of the blades.” While it’s important for the coxswain to identify individual flaws, the cox who can apply those corrections to whole boat improvements is a step ahead of the game.
For longer pieces, try giving the boat one focal point “for the next minute” or “for this piece.” However, if you name a theme for a time frame or piece, stick to related comments. Giving the rowers a moment of silence is also a good long piece tactic. A helpful focal point for a quiet time is to have your rowers close their eyes and feel their legs draw their seats into the catch, lock their blades in and reverse without checking the boat.