How to talk about a poor performance

My 2022 daughter rower in contact with ivy coaches and wondering if/how to discuss a less than great performance in race. Not even sure coaches are aware of race, but likely they could have been and might ask about it. If it comes up, thinking it’s an opportunity to talk about what she learned and growth opportunity, or does lower boat placement now come off as a negative?

I wouldn’t bring it up.

If they do, she should totally own it (i.e., I hadn’t prepared for xyz, we’d been so focused on ABC that we came undone when efg happened, I allowedmyselfto get undone by the atmosphere), and talk about how that thing is being addressed.

It’s fine to discuss the opportunity and growth, but coaches also want to hear that you know and take responsibility for what went wrong. Everyone has bad days, so it’s not a disaster.


I agree, I wouldn’t bring it up and I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. Just be prepared with a brief explanation: hard training week, etc. Or if it was just an off day and she’s not sure what happened, just say that. One performance isn’t going to make a big difference. But an athlete who appears to obsess over an off day, or comes up with a complex narrative to explain it away, could give a coach concerns.

Having said that, my sport is track not crew so take that advice fwiw.

1 Like

@MWRowMom22 - Agree with the above posters. I don’t know of any rowers that have results this year and most clubs are either not back in the water or only in singles (except for Florida and maybe another state or two) - so guessing her race result is at least a year + old. Is is for a single - then it might come up - so like the other posted said, she should be prepared to discuss it, but highly doubtful that was a make or break results.

Either way, coaches are going to care a lot more about her ERG times, grades, high school classes, coachability and then on the water results. ERG times are the King/Queen - on water can mostly be taught if the rest is there.

My daughter was recruited and will be at an Ivy next year - coaches wanted her top 2-3 results and really focused on her academics more.

1 Like

I’m in agreement with everyone else. Don’t bring it up, but if it comes up have an explanation ready that doesn’t sound like an excuse or an overly contrived growth experience. Be able to own it, and hopefully have some positive spin.

The reality is that everyone, including those wearing Olympic medals, has an off day once in a while. It happens.

If you bring it up you will 100% ruin her chances. Every athlete has to have a short memory. If she is still worrying about a poor performance she is done as an athlete.

1 Like