Boat Selection/Earning a Seat

Coaches are expected to

  • Provide the athletes with a sense of strategic vision for the club.
  • Provide feedback to the athletes so they know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Make fair assessments in order to achieve the fastest lineups.
  • When selections are made, hold group conferences to explain decisions.
  • Communicate the need for any subsequent lineup changes.

Athletes are expected to:

  • Work hard in order to improve and strive to achieve ideal goals.
  • Be supportive of the team by accepting coaching decisions.
  • Seek feedback. If a rower doesn't know where he stands, ask.
  • Realize team goals come before the needs or desires of any individual.
  • Treat all teammates, opponents, coaches, officials, parents and members with respect.
  • Recognize that as the season progresses, the opportunities for selection decrease.

Parents are expected to:

  • Respect the coaches as the final authorities on boat selection and rowing matters.
  • Remember, coaches seek only to create the fastest possible lineups. While decisions are in part subjective, they are not personal.

Parent/Coaches Communication Plan:
Cuts: The coaches’ policy is not to cut rowers or coxswains in the ordinary course. That said, the coaches reserve the right to make cuts in the interests of safety (for example, if there are not enough (a) coaches and launches to properly and consistently supervise crews on the water or (b) rowers and coxswains to field eights (as opposed to fours or pairs, etc.)), discipline, or for any other reason that may have a material negative impact on the program in the coaches’ sole discretion.

In the event that the ratio of rowers/coxswains to coaches exceeds the TRRA prescribed limits, a cut policy will be put into effect.

As applicable, the coaches will apply the same principles used to determine boat selection to determine rowers and coxswains to be cut. In the event that the coaches do need to make cuts and an oarsman or coxswain being cut has already paid his fees for the relevant season, the Board will arrange for a pro-rata refund of fees paid.

Overview: A major strength of the Central Crew is the depth of talent. Each year the coaches struggle with the difficult decisions of which athletes to put into which boats. Here are some of the assessments that coaches make in the selection process:


  • Attitude
  • Consistency
  • Attendance
  • Ergometer scores
  • Racing experience and past performance (including performance in intra-squad competition including land competitions)
  • Subjective analysis of boat moving


  • Attitude
  • Consistency
  • Attendance
  • Leadership and Motivation
  • Racing performance and past performance
  • Steering and calls
  • Technical knowledge of racing
  • Tactical knowledge

Earning a Seat
The selection of a crew is the first major hurdle of the racing season.

There are some general guidelines used by the coaches in the interest of finding the fastest crew in the fairest way.

The assignment of seats and coxswains within a crew is a balance of intuition and common sense.

The seats at either end of the shell (bow pair and stem pair) have a disproportionate influence on the balance of the shell. Generally, the most technically sophisticated rowers will be put there.

The stroke (who looks at the coxswain) is responsible for establishing the rhythm and intensity of the entire crew - a coach will sometimes set this leadership seat first because of its importance. An ideal stroke of a crew has an addictive rhythm and is one whose rowing improves when there is a great deal of pressure.

The center seats of the shell are the heart of the crew and one generally finds a little more horsepower there.

Each seat makes a certain contribution and some rowers row some seats better than others. This is where the coach uses his or her experience and intuition. In rowing, the fastest crew is always more than the sum of its parts.