Jess Crosby is a sophomore and varsity coxswain on the Saint Joseph’s University Women’s Rowing Team.

What is a coxswain?

“Typically a coxswain is a small person that sits in the stern of a rowing boat, and

physically and verbally controls the boat’s steering, speed, and timing. They are usually responsible for correcting the rowers’ technique and motivating them during races.”

Photo provided by Jess Crosby

How would you describe coxswains being ‘athletes’ even though you don’t physically row the boat?

“Although coxswains aren’t the typical athlete because they’re not working out during races or practices the same way the crew is, they do participate in physical activity more behind the scenes. Coxswains have to basically scream for about 8 minutes during a 2k, which takes a lot of effort and stamina. Therefore, working out and doing cardio helps to stay in shape and not get tired or worn out during intense pieces.”

Photo provided by Jess Crosby

How did you first get involved with crew?

“My family all rowed growing up, so my dad kept bugging me to try it all through high school. At the time I thought just sitting there and yelling at people would be dumb, but little did I know when my dad made me try it halfway through high school I would fall in love with the sport.”

Best part about being a coxswain?

“My favorite part about being a coxswain is being able to motivate the rowers to push even harder than they already are, giving 130% effort, and having the rowers react to one of my calls which makes us walk past other crews during races and win. It’s a huge adrenaline rush”

Photo provided by Jess Crosby

-Mercedes Zirolli

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