What does a Team Drummer do?
The drummer serves a vital role on a dragon boat team. He or she is the ‘pulse’ or ‘drumbeat’ of the team.
- The drummer’s role is functional. The drummer sits at the front of the boat and helps the steersperson/coach communicate with the crew by relaying commands to the front of the boat.
- The drummer’s role is practical. The drummer keeps the paddlers in rhythm. The drummer matches his/her drumbeats with the strokes of the front two paddlers.
- The drummer’s role is supportive. He or she will cheer on the crew and bring their focus to stroking in time.
- The drummer’s role is ceremonial. The drummer establishes the spirit of the team and reflects that spirit in everything from their costume to the encouragement they give to the paddlers.
The drummer should be light weight, as he/she will be sitting on top of the bow of the boat. Being outgoing in nature is helpful, as is being a confident swimmer.