RowPerfect Shop subscribe to newsletter

Dear customers, thank you for being loyal to Rowperfect. Unfortunately we closed our shop, we can't accept any new orders.
Our blog will still be running, feel free to check it out!
Customers from UK can still purchase products on Customers in the EU can purchase products on our Rowing-Network at

RowingChat: Adrian Ellison Olympic Coxswain

Adrian Ellison won Olympic Gold in 1984 at Los Angeles with the British Mens coxed four crew including … read more

Share this Post


Adrian Ellison won Olympic Gold in 1984 at Los Angeles with the British Mens coxed four crew including Sir Steve Redgrave, Martin Cross, Richard Budgett and Andy Holmes.  He continues to cox and coach and gives us his insights into how to up-skill yourself as a coxswain and how to coach coxes.

Listen to RowingChat with Adrian Ellison on SoundCloud

Timestamps to the interview

01:00 Introduction and background in rowing

02:00 My first coaches – Tony Martin and Tony Tinckle at Reading University Rowing Club

03:00 What was international selection like in 1981? How I got selected for 2+ at World Championships and I won my first international medal.

08:00 working and training through the year in 80s?

10:00 the lead up to 1984 Olympics and selections.  Initial crew was coached by Mike Spracklen.  Initial crew was Richard Budgett, Martin Cross, Andy Holmes and John Beattie and Steve Redgrave pushed Beattie out.

15:00 The Olympic final 1984 narrated by Adrian.

17:00 USA jets squeal overhead and Adrian’s push isn’t heard leading to switching Martin Cross as race tactician

21.00 The calls in the race including the “desperation in his voice” The feeling of relief at the end of the race

23:00 The skilful execution of Plan A, Plan B or Plan C is the definition of a skilful rowing crew and coping with unexpected circumstances.

26:00 How to spot significant moments in a race when win or lose can be decided.

28:00 The mark of a really good cox / crew is sometimes taking the rate down not up

30:00 How to improve your coxing skills.  Get into a crew with someone more experienced

34:00 Listen to what top coxswains say – get audio recordings and videos as training

35:00 Cox as the technical coach in the boat – what you look out for

40:00 Understanding the calls and what they mean and how to do the same thing in the same way

42:00 First outing with a new crew and what I feel when in the boat

46:00 What numbers do your follow on the Coxmate SX?

48:00 What do you do to prepare to race with a crew – what do they want me to do?  The best coxswain for a crew is one who gives them what they want.

51:00 The coxswain in the gym – how do you work with a coach as an effective coxswain?

54:00 How can coxswains be effective working with a coach?

60:00 Comparison between New Zealand and Great Britain rowing

64:00 Reflections on coxing for 40 years – I’m a better coxswain now than when I was on the GB national team

Watch RowingChat with Adrian Ellison on YouTube

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

2 thoughts on “RowingChat: Adrian Ellison Olympic Coxswain

  1. Excellent interview Rebecca. Fascinating and insightful too. Being a super-lightweight, I started rowing and coxing at the same time and that’s how I learned to coach. The comments about understanding exactly what each call really meant and how and when to execute it really rang true. An essay becomes a paragraph which becomes a sentence and then a phrase or even just a word. But using that turn of phrase in a new crew doesn’t have the same effect until you have gone through the same process of explanation. All good stuff. Well done, both of you.

Leave a Reply

Blog Related Posts

RowingChat, free, 23rd of May with Ben Hunt-Davis: got your ticket yet?

Our next RowingChat is just days away and you have every reason to take advantage of this free… read more

RowingChat: Rowing Technique and Aging

Masters rowing is one of the fastest growing parts of the sport.  Yet aging places compromises onto the… read more

Strength Coach Roundtable Podcast Recap

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to the first-ever Rowperfect Strength Coach Roundtable! We all three wrote an… read more

RowPerfect Shop subscribe to newsletter
Open chat
Questions, put an order, suggestions?
Hello, welcome to Rowperfect UK! How can we help you?