Letter from the editor
Volume I, Issue 2
SOMETIMES THE STRONGEST CALL WE CAN MAKE IS BEST MADE AS A WHISPER.
There's a feeling I think you know.
It's a hesitation almost, a pause laden with tension. It's that moment at the starting line when the referee pauses before dropping the flag and spitting the "Go!" command into the air.
This hesitation-this moment of expectation mixed with silence-is when your voice is most important. You can't see the flag, you can't make the moment pass any faster, but you can prepare your crew. You can use your voice in the subtlest way, a whisper into the microphone, "This is our race," uttered so softly it sinks into their psyche without being noticed.
In this moment your crew is as well-trained as they're going to be. Together, you've done everything possible to gain as much speed and confidence and unity as possible. You're a crew of nine, or five, and every seat has its role. Your role is not simple; it isn't about any one thing.
Your voice, and the knowledge you have that allows you to see the future and anticipate what your crew needs to do to win, are a part of your role as coxswain. Being the part of the crew that is always
present but never distracting, that's part of it. Being the part of the crew that orchestrates the next move before the rowers wonder about it, that's part of it. Being a part of the equation of victory is the ultimate goal for any cox. All of this is what demands continual growth.
Developing coxing skills-especially on your own-is something Dorris Sturges knows about. She coxed for Wellesley College over 70 years ago, choosing to go to a college that had crew because she knew she wanted to be a coxswain, well before women were known to make choices based on athletics. When we visited her in her home in Ohio, we learned that the experience she had as a female athlete in the '30s and '40s is the foundation of how she has lived her life. Her story, "Born Too Soon," is actually not that different from stories we hear today from athletes living their lives in much the same way.
Caring for your voice-the one tool you have that no one else does-is paramount to your success and is the focus of the article "Your Vocal Health." You'll learn the mechanics of developing and using your complete vocal range, and how to tap into your true, resonant voice for power in your calls, and in your persona.
Your contributions in the boat are based on the decisions you make and how you communicate them. Sometimes the strongest call we can make is best made as a whisper. That's strength; that's skill. I think you know the feeling.