Coxswain/Coach Commands

  • "Weigh enough" - This command means to stop  rowing or stop what you are doing.
  • "Hard on"... (port/starboard) - This means that you need to row with more power on one side so that the boat can make a sharper turn or fix the directions.
  • "Check/Hold"- This is used to stop the boat in an emergency situation and the boat needs to stop or to just stop the boat. The rowers need to square their oars in the water until the boat stops.
  • "Back/Back it"- Instead of pulling with the oars you the the opposite and push so that the boat moves the opposite way.
  • "Count down from bow"- Tells the crew to call out their seat number, starting at the bow, when ready to row.
  • "Power 10"- 10 strokes with more power.
  • "Hands on"- Tells the rowers to grab hold of the boat and be ready to lift it.
  • "Up an inch"- Lift the boat about an inch when taking it out of the boat house. Usually followed by "and out/ready out, which means take it out of the rack its on.
  • "Walk it forward"- To walk forward when Carrying a boat.
  • "Heads/Heads up"- Watch out
  • "Up and over head"- Lifting the boat over your head before you put it on your shoulder.
  • "Split to shoulders"- When the boat is over the rowers  head they go to different sides and put it on their shoulders.
  • "Up to shoulders"- When the boat is down to waist or on slings this is said to bring it up to the shoulders.
  • "Down to waist"- To lower a boat to the rowers waist.
  • "In 2..."- Most water commands are appended prior to the command to take place after two strokes. For example "In 2, Power 10" or "In 2, Weigh-enough."
  • "Let it run"- This is when the rowers have stopped rowing and the boat is still moving.
  • "Paddle"- To row at a slow rate with a small about of power.
  • "Ready all row/Ready row"- Begin rowing
  • "Sit ready/Set ready"- This is where the rowers are stopped with their oars squared and in the water at the catch and ready to start a race.
  • "One foot up and out"-The command for exiting a team boat.
"One foot up and out"

"One foot up and out"


Coxswain - The person sitting in the stern of the shell who steers, gives commands to the crew and passes on the coach’s directions to the crew. A good coxswain is just as important as the rowers and through good steering, calling a good race plan and motivating the crew can make the difference between winning and losing. When the coach or the coxswain is talking no one else should be saying a word.

  • Check It Down - A call for all rowers to square their blades and drag them through the water in order to slow down or stop the boat. The call can also be made for certain rowers only, such as, “check it on port” or “stern pair check it down”. “Check it down hard” usually means there is an emergency and the boat needs to be stopped immediately.
  • Hold Water - A call for the rowers to square their blades in the water while the boat is sitting still. This keeps the boat in a set place.
  • Let It Run - A call for all rowers to sit with blades off the water at the finish, allowing the shell to glide through the water. Done correctly, the boat will be set (balanced) and no blades will be touching the water. A good drill for correcting set problems, especially those related to lean and handle heights.
  • Power 10 - A call for the rowers to take “power” strokes, giving it everything they can for a certain number of strokes. This is used in races to make a move on another crew and, in practice, to build stamina and let rowers realize both how hard they can pull and how that affects the boat’s speed. Can also be a “Power 20″ or more.