Ever feel like rowing a boat is like being in a classroom? No? Well, think again. Boathouse Ambassador Tara Strosser discusses how traditional classroom roles are filled by each seat in the boat. Read on to find out more about yourself through your seat number, and to better understand each pair.
The Coxswain: Teacher (Master of Deceit)
Ahhh, the cox. The “b**** of the boat”. The alpha. Who is usually a foot shorter than you. The coxswain is the teacher of the classroom. It’s tough because even if he or she barely graduated college before fulfilling his or her role as your teacher, you MUST. OBEY. Most days, I feel like a washed-up college grad in my classroom of a boat. I have no idea what I’m saying, but most of the guys don’t know that, because if you’ve done your job right, they’ll believe you. So what gives them the credentials to mandate extra practices--or homework--to their minions? Comment below when you find out.
Stern Pair: Student Government Peeps
Even if they’re not natural leaders, they certainly act the part when tossed into stern pair. Similar to the cox, they have this magical power over the boat; you need to follow their rules--or, whiney complaints about 1. set 2. rush 3. blade entry….. (continued) 45. two seat’s grunting 46. three seat’s “lame” man-bun--or else everyone will COME. AT. YOU. Including the coach.
Okay, to be fair, this pair is a coin with two sides, port and starboard, stroke and seven. From my experience, seven complains more, while eight is more vocal about those complaints. It’s like seven is the boat’s ears, and stroke is the mouth. Forever linked, it’s like they’ve dated so long that they can intuit how the other feels, and they’re always so damn sure to stand up for the other (see bow pair later, the only pair that could compete with this #power #couple).
Despite the slight roast, I think it should be stated that what stern pair is saying is valid 99% of the time, and the boat does need someone to actively critique the boat feel. Nothing would ever be fixed if it wasn’t for this pair, because the errors affect them the most. You can say a lot about the stern pair--hell, they say a lot about you--but you can’t say that they don’t care.
Five and Six: Teacher’s Pets
As in freshly-groomed golden retrievers who are fed steroids instead of dog chow. They’re strong, lovable, obedient, and have a great track record with the cox and coach. You know how on a crappy day, watching pet videos makes you feel a bit better? That’s these guys: good ‘ol reliable five and six, whose quiet leadership calms boat rifts. They’re the only ones who EVERYONE in the boat will listen to--partly cause they never really talk--good boys!--but also because they’re respectful and respectable. They’re not my favorite or anything.
Three and Four: Nerd Alert
Severely stressed and show up to class 15 minutes early. Everyday. With sharpened pencils. Just not sharp catches. Early to school dances. First in the lunch line. You get it. Alright, I’m done.
Three and four are the seats I feel for the most because usually they’re the best in the 2V, and need to prove themselves in the 1V, or something like that. When someone’s out, the lineup shifts so that conveniently the new three and four were the star-rowers in the boat below. People give them a lot of shade for being reliably out-of-time and out-of-(rowing)-style with the rest of the crew, but that’s because they aren’t up to speed (haha, puns) with the swing of the boat. They have a lot on their shoulders, and often feel responsible for any offset or boat-feel issue. SO, they overcompensate: by being early. So that they aren’t late.
To any three or four seat reading this: your coach put you in your lineup for a reason, so relax and know that you worked for your seat.
Bow Pair: Class Clowns
And now, the pair that the coxswain struggles the most to make behave. Light-hearted, positive, upbeat, and witty: the bow pair makes everyone chuckle when they need it most. They have a lot of heart, and may sometimes feel intimidated by the bigger guys in the boat, but always keep their chins up, work hard, and maintain harmony within the boat. I’ve seen so many close friendships between this pair--probably because since they are so far from the coxswain, they can chat and let their bromance develop. While keeping peace in the boat, they’re probably holding hands and singing kum-ba-yah.
Why choose Boathouse over the other guys? Learn 8 reasons why you and your crew should make the Boathouse switch today.
A Final Tidbit on Coexisting...
Yeah, we’re all different and have many assets--along with things to work on. Maybe that’s the beauty of it though. Maybe there’s no perfect rower, just perfect lineups and seats for us. My seventh grade teacher once told me that she learned from us more than we learned from her. Astonished, we couldn’t believe it, but that’s what relationships and teams are: give and take. We learn from each other, and need each other to form our traditional classroom, that has been classic throughout time.
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