My freshman were 5th in their heat, but only 1 second off Langley. The week before they were 47 seconds behind Langley - so a definite win in my mind. They were last in their petite final. I think endurance was their main issue. I told them that as long as they could come off the water and look me in the eye and say they did all they could, then I didn't care if they were first or last. At the end, they all seemed reasonably happy and seemed to enjoy the season. All their parents seem to be very happy as well. I think pretty much every family came up to me at some point and thanked me and told me how much their kids enjoyed the season. That's really all I can ask for.
BTW - The Cookie medals were a huge hit with parents and rowers. Many of the rowers said they were better and any other medal! Can't go wrong with a good cookie medal. Now that the "official" season is over, I gotta say, I think it was pretty successful as my very first coaching season. It gives me hope that I'm going to get this.