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