Assigning Boats at Practice

Here is the first of a few coaching tips intended for teams with and
without coaches.

Assign the boats by number at practice for the whole season. It took me
five years to figure this one out but, once I did things have gone much
better ever since. Everyone knows who is in every boat once memorized,
even when you cannot see the faces. That makes it easier to tell who is
making gains and losses during practice races and why. It also makes
assigning team race teams easier. It also rewards students for keeping
the little things on their boats in good working order. Some boats get
better care than others but the discrepencies were worse before. Example:
Before we assigned boats at Tufts, a senior hotshot, Fran Charles, took
the worst boat, fixed it up until it was the best boat and practiced in it
for three weeks. Then others beat him to practice and took “his boat.”
Fran was then discouraged from fixing other boats. We even assign boats
when practicing away so that I know who is in which boat without searching
for the faces. Hope that helps.


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