The Army Crew Team
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With the boat races, the variables required for achieving top performance are: strength and coordination, rowing techniques, psychological dimensions, and program organizations. As Snook & Polzer puts it, coaches will have different variable considerations. In this case according to the team selection criterion used, proper consideration on technique, strength and conditioning had been put in place.
Why the Varsity team loses to the Junior varsity team
The team selection criterion was on the measurement of speed, strength and coordination. Individual rowing skills measured using the ergo meter machine include individual strength, technique and endurance. The coach’s seat racing method of assessing the systematic data of a rower’s skills while coordinating with teammates is a good way of calibrating each individual as per ranks in accordance with the measured performance.
According to Snook & Polzer, the best boat is one in which rowers adapt to each other’s imperfect strokes by refraining from adjusting their techniques toward compensation for an error committed to avoid unstable rowing. The person causing an error ought to correct it in the next stroke to allow the boat to regain balance and maximum speed. Winning a crew race requires rowers to fight against reaching their physical threshold while making the fewest technical mistakes on any stroke. As stated by Snook & Polzer, “In a crew boat with perfect coordination, rowing would feel almost effortless due to the synergy among the eight members.”
Trust for synchrony and endurance
Trust as the psychological variable for performance is what deprived off the varsity team their win. The weak link applies not just to rowing technique but also to individual’s threshold physical failure. Exhaustion in a long race make it feels impossible to keep up the team’s unrelenting pace but trust among members of a team is very important. The members have to trust that no one is going to rest a stroke because of reaching her/his threshold. This is more of psychological fitness that physical. The writer states that, a loss of one rower’s power for just one stroke produces an increased load on the oars of the seven remaining rowers and if one of them was near threshold of physical failure then even a slight increase on their oar substantially increases chances of failure. (Snook & Polzer, 2004).
When one person deviates from the pace it is important for the other seven not to respond but just trust that the person out of rhythm corrects her/himself because if they try to respond, they do it in different ways changing the synchronism and therefore leading to failure.
Miss trust among member will come in when they start being critical of one another over their failure in performance, which is evident in the varsity team. Without trust even the best rowers on one boat cannot perform well.
Solution to the problem
There were clear indications of as-synchronization among the varsity team members to the coach within the first few defeats, which he had dismissed as an aberration and therefore letting it to grow. This is the time he could have embarked on the same or a different selection methodology to shuffle the teams’ temporary and therefore calm down the situation at hand. Clearly the junior team was not progressing it was the main team regressing therefore the defeat, meaning there was something going wrong within the main team.
Clearly the varsity team consisted of members with best technique, strength and conditioning skills but they lacked other important variables such as leadership, optimism, and team building ability required for a perfect team.
The junior varsity team had ways of mutually supporting each other’s efforts by sending and sharing motivating texts among themselves which was an aspect lacking in the varsity team and if there was any text, it never inspired it discouraged.
Actions to be implemented
The coach has a big decision to make over the varsity team. The best approach for the coach on Tuesday is to come up with a counseling and team motivation program, which could include outsourced chancellors or just create a healing and reconciliation procedure among his sixteen-member group within the remaining training sessions. I recommend this action because, One main thing is that he has the answers from his last meeting with them and there is no need for reshuffle since he is right on the potential of the varsity team members and the main problem is relationship among them or may be a slight relational problem with the junior team.
The option of acknowledging that the junior team is stronger and switch boats is out because he knows and has proof that the varsity are the better side so this would only catalyze enmity among them.
With the situation at hand, making them to compete with the junior varsity team create more rivalry among them and between the two boats. As the writers puts it, they felt embarrassed losing to the junior team and this was the source to individual attacks, which made them all to feel low and like quitting.
The coach had the best combination of varsity boat members and switching individual boat members would not bring out a better combination than the varsity team if only they could work together as one. Shuffling or switching is only an option so as to give time for healing among the members with huge hatred feeling between them and at the same time gain on performance given the limited time left. Having a routine break and talking over the issues at hand before embarking on practice should be used in implementing this action.
Snook, S. & Polzer, J. (2004, March 30). The Army Crew Team. Harvard Business School.