Captains Elections

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					                       Policies of the Granby Crew Head Coach
                                     Written by Paul Coslick

Coaches are the ultimate authorities in the boathouse. They are the first and last source for
planning and execution. All coaches report to the head coach.

Captains are student leaders of the team. They are expected to represent the epitome of high
school athletes at all times. They will set the example for the students that they lead, and provide
positive direction only. Captains report directly to the coach(es). They assist the coach(es) to
ensure that practice runs smoothly, and that all members of the team are held to high standards of
sportsmanship. Captains hold no direct authority over students, and cannot punish any student
for actions taken with, or away from the team. In the event a captain determines that disciplinary
action is required, they will notify the coach, who will then take the appropriate steps to address
the issue.

Coxswains are the third component of the team leadership triangle.
- They are given great responsibility related to management and safety during practices and
    races. As a result, the coxswain’s authority whenever rowing in, or handling a shell is
    absolute. Only the coach may overrule their directions. Each rower in a shell is charged
    with aiding the coxswain in recognizing possible safety issues.
- Coxswains are designated by the coach, and seated in boats according to skill and experience.
    Once given the practice or race plan, coxswains are charged with ensuring their boat
    completes that plan. Rowers may not question the decisions of the coxswain.
- Coxswains may suggest to the coach that disciplinary action be taken for student actions.
Coxswains will carry a tool kit on the water for every practice. This kit will include: water
bottles, athletic tape, whistle, 10mm wrench, 7/16” wrench, wing-nut tool, and stopwatch.
Coxswains are responsible for the condition of their own kit.
- 2 water bottles are required for practice in a 4+; 4 are required for practice in an 8+
- Hot days and long practices require more water. Coxswains will recognize this, and add
    bottles to their kit. (For health reasons, no water bottle should be used by more than one
    person, unless it can dispense the water without touching the mouth of the recipient.)
- Water bottles will be washed after each practice. Coxswains, and other team members if
    necessary, will take turns washing all bottles at home and returning them to the next practice.
Unless none are available, cox-boxes must be used on the water. Coxswains in 8+ and bow-
loader shells will have first priority for cox-boxes. After each practice, cox-boxes will be
thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and then properly stored.

Crew is a large sport, where students are put in charge of equipment with high dollar values and
work together to ensure success. Each of us must meet our responsibilities.
- Safety – It is everyone’s responsibility. Speak up! Override everyone with your concerns to
   ensure that no one gets hurt, and nothing gets broken.
-   Property – Care for all team and personal property as if it were your own. On water practice
    days, place your bags in a coach’s car for security.
- Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco – These substances are banned for all team members at all times, not
    just during crew-related events. They damage your performance, damaging the whole team.
- Performance-Enhancing Substances – We do not need chemicals to make us faster. Our goal
    is to be OUR best, not the best that cheating can make us.
- Announcements – Listen up and follow through. Pass it on to your parents if needed.
- Attendance / Absences – The rules are clear. Your attendance determines your eligibility to
    compete. Crew depends on an entire team, so be a part of it. Even one person being late can
    delay the entire practice. Show up on time, and ready to row.
- Contribute – There is a lot to get done at practices and races. Everyone will pitch in.
    Students found to be ignoring this fact will be given something else to do.
- Ask questions – Come to the coach with questions ASAP. They want to answer them.
This is a responsibility of each team member that requires further elaboration.
- Profanity will not be tolerated. Rare occurrences will be dealt with informally. Repetition of
    the problem will result in disciplinary action.
- Respect is vital to team cohesion, because everyone is vital to the team. Any student
    showing a lack of respect for another person will receive disciplinary action.
- Yelling is a tool for safety and motivation only. Every member of the team will speak in a
    civilized manner. Justified yelling will be positive, and followed by explanation.
Study Hall
The rules of practice extend to study hall. It is a vital part of our team’s success, and disruptions
will not be tolerated. Poor behavior in study hall will be grounds for disciplinary action.
Disciplinary actions
Formal discipline is a suspension from the team for a period to be set by the coach. Informal
discipline is usually calisthenics, or individual discussion. Only coaches may issue discipline.
Coxswains and Captains may suggest informal discipline for minor infractions.

Parents and Families
Parents and families should remain separate from the team during practice.
- Please do not interrupt our routine unless necessary.
- Coaches may be consulted for a very brief period before practice, since we should focus on
    the day’s plans. Discussions with coaches should be held after practice if possible.
Watching practice is acceptable on rare occasions. Requests will be dealt with individually, and
will depend greatly on the day’s circumstances. Viewing on the water is the most difficult, but
also the most rewarding.
Parents are both support staff and spectators for races. Enjoy them and contribute.
- Students have many responsibilities at a race. Allow them to focus on the day’s events.
- The team tents are a social area where interactions are casual. Keep things positive.
- The boat trailer and surrounding areas are all business. Stay away and let us work.
- Schedules are set for a reason. Please support them, but don’t be shocked if they change.
Lineups for races are set in the preceding week, but can change on the day of. Their basis is
summarized below. Do not question lineups on race day.
Student Responsibilities
Parents and families should be aware of the student responsibilities listed above. Please help to
ensure that all rules are followed and tasks are completed. Adult assistance is most appreciated
in the areas of attendance, health, security, and paperwork.

Participation Rules
Excused Absences
- Spring (varsity season, so we take attendance seriously)
            Illness (contagious or prevents rowing)
            Injury (prevents rowing)
            Family emergency
            Significant personal obligations (school, family, community, medical, religious, etc.)
- Fall (club season of mostly water practices, so attendance is more lenient than spring) -
     excuse standards can be expanded from those of spring by speaking to the coach
- Winter (club season of mostly land workouts, so the above excuses apply to total workouts
     required for the erg pull only) – additional excuses follow as workouts/week excused
            work required on school/grades (1/week)
            after-school activities, including employment (2/week)
            lengthy illness or injury (1 week = 2/week, 2 weeks or more = 3/week)
            family or other obligations (1 week = 2/week, 2 weeks or more = 3/week)
Fall Events
Head races are fall events. Participation is set by several factors, the most important of which is
practice time during the fall season. Because boats may require additional rowers, members of
the team who do not have full fall participation may be allowed to race. On the other hand, some
fall participants may not race if they are not ready to row in a competitive event. Readiness for
racing, and how to set lineups is the sole prerogative of the coach.
Winter Events
Erg pulls are winter events. Participation is available to those who take part in the club’s winter
training program. Because erg pulls are individual events, each student must fully meet the
requirements to row. Full participation is not required under several circumstances:
- Any student with a qualifying erg time (this season) may attend events out of town
- Winter sport athletes must complete one 2K erg tests per month to participate in the Hampton
     Roads Erg Pull
- Students missing portions of winter training for valid reasons may be excused from making
     up some workouts, and will be allowed to participate in the Hampton Roads Erg Pull
Spring Water Practice
Spring transition to the water hinges on athlete readiness. Spring racing is the conclusion of all
the year’s work, but it is also our official varsity period. Therefore, it stands alone from fall and
winter. We must acknowledge however, that success in the spring is highly dependant upon the
preceding seasons. So what is the solution? Simple answer, there isn’t one. Let’s ask a different
question instead. What is required for us to succeed?
- Erging provides direct feedback to athletes on their individual performance. It comes in the
     form of ratings, splits, force curves, and repetition. This feedback, along with coaching
     supervision, helps athletes to build strength and endurance in motions that are unique to the
     rowing stroke. Erging is vital to rowing success. We must find time to erg.
-   Erg times are a vital tool in setting lineups. A coach must have sufficient data on each
    athlete to properly set crews. Good numbers don’t come from just one row. Four weeks is a
    good bench mark (form + 2k, endurance + 10k/8k, aerobic power + 6k/4k, and anaerobic
    power + 2k)
- Strength training is essential to spring racing. Without strength, athletes cannot move the
    boat. Without sufficient speed, the boat will not set-up correctly and remain stable. Without
    a stable platform, none of us can learn to row well.
- Based on the above assumptions, a minimum of four weeks erging at the beginning of the
    spring is required for each athlete to return to water training. The following exceptions will
           The best time to erg is in the winter. It opens up the spring to refocus on technique.
            Thus, full winter participation waives the four week spring requirement.
           Partial winter participation waves a portion of the four weeks proportional to the
            amount of winter erging completed.
           Winter sport athletes should have the required strength to hit the water. So all we
            need is good erg data on them. Only two weeks of erging is required.
           For new members who have never been on the water, learning the stroke on the water
            must be accomplished before racing. Thus, only two weeks of erging is required.
           For new members joining in the third week of spring, or later, only one week of
            erging is required
- Fall training is too far away from spring to have sufficient influence on an athlete’s strength
    or input to available erg data. Fall participation has no bearing on spring requirements.
- Winter activities that do not have athletic benefits have no bearing on the minimum amount
    of erging required for success. They will not affect spring requirements.
This policy of physical conditioning relies on the enthusiasm of the team, and our commitment to
be our best. Understanding of the vital role that winter training plays, and recognition that every
student depends on their teammates for success will make our full year of practice and
competition a success on par with everything accomplished to this time.
Note: Winter and spring exceptions (for erging) are not the same. Winter requirements focus on
participation. Many factors in life can cause us to miss practice. Thus, more exceptions apply to
the minimum necessary for the Hampton Roads Erg Pull. Spring requirements focus on strength
and endurance. If you are not working out, then you are not preparing for racing. Only
exceptions related to the athletic power of the student will apply to the spring erg training.
Spring Events
Sprint races are spring events. Spring racing is not a right, it is a privilege that must be earned.
- Preparation for a race begins at least one week in advance. Thus, athletes must attend all
    practices during a week in order to participate in a spring race at the end of the week.
    Excused absences will be accepted, but the coach must be notified in writing prior to the
    absence if possible. This gives the coach an opportunity to decide if it is valid. It also allows
    the athlete to make a choice, if the absence will not be excused.
- Athletes must be fully prepared to race. A minimum of three days rowing on the water is
    required in the week leading to a race. Excused absences will have no affect on this
- The above requirements may be waived only in cases where athlete’s participation is deemed
    necessary by the coach to fill out boat lineups and maximize overall team participation in the
Proper Attire
Rowing is a sport for all year, done in many weather conditions. Students should dress for
success. It is not acceptable to arrive at practice without the necessary clothing.
- Erging / Running / Calisthenics – Land training requires clothes that can get dirty and proper
   shoes. We may stay on land any day. Bring your running shoes!
- Shorts / Pants – Baggy clothing of any kind is not acceptable for use in shells. It will get
   caught in the tracks. Wear tight pants and short shirts/jackets.
- Cold / Rain – We will row on cold, rainy, and even windy days if the water is good enough.
   Come prepared. Warm hats are the best way to stay warm.
- Heat / Sun – We will row on hot, humid, sunny days. Light clothing with coverage against
   the sun is best.

Practice Arrival Routine
Students arrive at practice in a staggered progression as a result of the run from school to the
boathouse. We have several things to complete on water practice days. Upon arrival, each
student should begin to complete these tasks to ensure a rapid start to practice, and maximum
time on the water.
Team                                                  - Place school bags in a safe location
- Check the fuel in both launches                     - Push in stick on stick-board
- Get launches in the water, on each dock             - Dress properly for the row
- Get three sets of 8 oars on the docks               - Hydrate and use the restroom if needed
- Get the red 8+ out on slings                        - Apply athletic tape / sunscreen as needed
- Get out any other boats as directed                 - Notify the coach of any reason you
- Stretching (everyone present)                           cannot row / work out
- Check boat lineups                                  - Notify the coach of any scheduling
- Receive practice focus / workout plan                   conflict during practice
We need to get all of this done quickly so that it doesn’t delay our departures. Do not be the one
person we are all waiting on to leave the dock. And do not rely on everyone else to get the team
actions done. Captains and coxswains will run this routine. Stretching will not start until all
other responsibilities above have been completed. Once stretching is complete, all students must
be ready to get in a boat and go!

Race Routine
Friday Practice will start 1 hour early. We will drill on the water for a short time, and return to
    the boathouse to load the trailer. We must work efficiently to get everything done.
Saturday arrival time is set for a reason. Get there on time.
The boats must be rigged for the day’s racing. Place your stuff at the team tent, and get to work
    at the trailer. Preparing for the day comes first. Check EVERYTHING!
Racing requires lots of work. Boats have to be moved. Oars have to be taken to the dock. Shoes
    have to be gathered at launch, and passed out at the boat’s return. So…help out.
De-rigging and storage of equipment will be done as we finish the last race with each shell. We
    share a trailer with Maury, and I refuse to have them waiting on us to go home.
Meals will be eaten, and awards will be passed out after the trailer is done. Enjoy the celebration
    and share your stories with our supporters. The trailer is going back to be unloaded, so we
    have to be quick in our fun. Get to the boathouse soon, and help to finish the day well.
Race Warm-up
-2:30 – Wake up and STAY AWAKE. Eat a big breakfast to jump-start the metabolism. Carbs
    and protein with some simple sugars are best.
-2:00 – Arrive at the team tent and stay off your feet. Get out of the sun and relax. Cold bodies
    are never ready to race, so stay warm.
-1:30 – Perform initial warm-up with boat. This means 3min light running, 50m sprint, shake it
    out, 50m sprint, shake it out, and 2min light running. If you’ve raced already, skip this part.
-1:20 – Stretch with boat. Complete the full stretching routine. If you’ve raced, keep this light.
-1:10 – Use the restroom. Return to tent area and rest. Eat small amounts of simple sugars and
    hydrate if needed. Get in rowing clothes if not already.
-0:40 – Report to the shell and check all your equipment. Ensure oars are in the dock area.
-0:30 – Boat talk, hydrate, and get dressed to row. Pick up the boat and walk to docks.
-0:20 – Launch from docks and perform water warm-up. This means exit the dock area, get to
    all 8/4 on the feather and row half way to start; stop in an area that won’t block other traffic;
    practice race starting-5 (¾, ½, ¾, full, full) and paddle out; practice full race start (¾, ½, ¾,
    full, full, high 15, settle 10) and paddle out; then do light rowing to remain warm.
-0:05 – Arrive at start area. Move around and keep warm. Hydrate and keep the chatter down.
-0:02 – Get in starting position. Rowers notify coxswain of any issues that prevent starting.
    Coxswain keeps boat lined up for start. Do not start if your crew has reason not to.

Erg Test Warm-up
Read the race warm-up above. It offers plenty of insight on how to succeed. Unlike races, this
    routine is not mandatory. Do what works best for you.
-1:30 – Perform initial warm-up. This means 3min light running, 50m sprint, shake it out, 50m
    sprint, shake it out, and 2min light running.
-1:20 – Complete the full stretching routine. Return to team area and rest.
-0:20 – Perform erg warm-up. This means 1min easy, 30sec sprint at race pace, 1 min easy,
    30sec race pace +2, and 1min easy.
-0:05 – Arrive in erg area.
-0:01 – Get a few more strokes in once seated on the erg. Don’t let your legs cool down.

Equipment Care
The equipment is expensive. As our team does not have infinite funding, what we do have needs
   to last a long time. Consider your team’s future, and keep racing equipment in racing order.
No one moves boats better than Granby. Remember that, and do it right.
The shells aren’t the only things that have to last, so care for everything, all the time. Cleaning is
   a must. It helps prevent both injuries and equipment damage, while reducing wear and tear.
Small problems can very quickly grow to become big ones. Tell the coxswains and coaches
   about any discrepancy that you find. Look for it again later. If it has not been fixed, remind
   the coaches daily until the work is done. Help us all to remember, and care appropriately for
   our equipment.

Music in the Boathouse
Music is a good motivational tool during long winter months, and grueling meters on the erg.
Unfortunately, most of today’s popular music contains a great deal of profanity, vulgarity, and
violence. We want to avoid playing these songs. So we must be very careful about what we put
on the house speakers. Anyone playing music must consider content first. Profanity is
unacceptable, and a song’s popularity is no justification for playing questionable lyrics.

Election of Captains
Captain Term Limits
A student can serve as a team captain during only one school year. New captains must be
elected each fall season. The coach may choose to waive this limitation when a sufficient
number of experienced students are not available to fill the positions, when a captain must be
replaced, or when a captain’s service in the preceding year was less than one season.
Primary Procedure
The captain’s authority stems directly from the coach and is supported by the confidence placed
in them by teammates. In the spirit of this role, four captains (two boys and two girls) will be
designated at the beginning of the fall season as follows:
- Three captains will be elected by all the vote-eligible students present on the day of election.
         Students will be eligible to vote if:
            o They plan to be a full participant in the coming spring season, AND
            o They have a sufficient history with the team as follows:
                    They were a full participant in the preceding spring (six weeks attendance,
                       Mar-Jun) season, OR
                    They were a full participant in the preceding fall (eight weeks, Aug-Oct) and
                       winter (ten weeks, Nov-Feb) seasons, OR
                    They were a full participant in any combination of four total seasons
         Voting students will be polled to nominate candidates. A student need not be present to
          be nominated. Students can nominate themselves. Nominations can be declined. A
          student is eligible for nomination if they have never been a captain before AND:
            o They are a senior, AND are eligible to vote in the election, OR
            o They are a junior, AND plan to be a full participant in at least two seasons this
                 school year, to include spring, AND have four full seasons with the team, OR
            o They are eligible to vote in the election, AND there are an insufficient number of
                 seniors and juniors to nominate three boys and three girls.
         The coach will poll the nominated students on several factors that will affect the team
          (team attendance, team behavior, personal fall and winter plans, etc.). The purpose of
          the poll is to reveal how and when each candidate would lead the team.
         Candidates will not give speeches. It is the expectation that votes will be cast for
          candidates who earned team support through previous actions and through opinions
          given in the preceding coach’s poll.
         Students will cast secret ballots by writing the names of two boys and two girls on a
          piece of paper, which is then folded and turned into the coach.
         If five students of one gender are nominated, the first ballot will eliminate two
          candidates in that gender, leaving three in a run-off. If six or more are nominated, the
          first ballot will eliminate candidates sufficient to leave four in a run-off.
         The elected captains are the three students (at least one boy and girl) receiving the most
- Following elections, one additional captain will be chosen by the head coach.
Captains will be announced to the entire team within one week. It will not be revealed which
captains received their position by election or appointment.
Alternate Procedure
If the team is small, or insufficient experience exists among the varsity students, the coach may
choose to employ this alternate method to designate captains. Authority to use this method rests
solely with the coach.
- Two captains (one boy and one girl) will be elected at the beginning of the fall season in a
     manner similar to the standard election, except that:
          The coach may expand voting eligibility to any student with previous team history
          The coach may expand eligibility for nomination to any student with previous team
           history and plans to compete in both the fall and spring seasons.
- If team numbers require, two additional captains (one boy and one girl) will be designated by
     the coach at the beginning of the spring season.
Suspension or Dismissal of a Captain
Authority to suspend or dismiss a captain lies solely with the head coach. No approval is needed
for the head coach to exercise this power. Written explanation must be submitted to the
GHSCTBC Board within one week of the action.
- For dismissal, written or verbal explanation of the action will be given to the affected captain
     within one week.
- For suspension, written or verbal explanation of the action will be given to the affected
     captain within one week. This explanation will include the duration of suspension. If lifting
     of the suspension is contingent upon completion of corrective actions, this list will be given
     to the student in writing.

Seating of boats explained (this is not a rule, only a discussion)
Seating of boats is the prerogative of the head coach. I will likely answer cordial questions on
the subject, but I owe no one an explanation as to how it is done. To keep the number of
questions to a minimum, I offer some insight to help everyone understand my choices. Speed in
rowing consists of many elements, but here are the primary ones for me:
- Power consists of the strength to pull an oar, and the endurance to sustain that strength over
    the length of a race. There are many judges of power, but the best is the erg. We complete
    many test pieces to assess the power of each athlete. There are 10Ks, 6Ks, 4Ks, and 2Ks. In
    the spring, 2Ks prevail. I am all about the numbers, so this will be my primary decision tool.
    Differences in erg scores greater than 10 seconds are hard to rationalize away.
- Technique is the ability to properly apply one’s power on the water. There is too much
    material to address here, so I will simply say that bad technique hurts the rower and everyone
    else in the boat. I know it when I see it, and will adjust seating accordingly.
- Contribution to a boat is also important. A boat that rows well as a unit will often go faster
    than that same crew with even one new rower who throws off the rhythm. Changes in
    lineups become less likely as big events approach and a crew has less time to work into a
    good rhythm.
My choices will be based on boat speed alone. I will determine which rowers and coxswains
make boats faster, and place them there. A good tool for measuring speed is seat-racing, but it
takes time and will be done rarely, if ever. All students must give 100% in seat races to ensure
accuracy. If I determine that a rower or coxswain has done otherwise, I will take them out of the
I was not a fast rower at Navy. I spent many days on the erg when I wasn’t fast enough for the
shells. I missed lots of races when teams did not have 3Vs or 4Vs to race my 8+. I only attended
championships once (senior year in the 3V). And I loved it. Thus, I expect all students to be
excited about rowing for Granby, no matter which boat they race in and when.

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