Colonel to outperform his rest of the crew,

Colonel Stas Preczewski (or Coach P.) was the coach of the army crew team. He faced a situation that he hasn’t faced in his coaching career. The Junior Varsity (JV) team frequently beat the Varsity (V) team in the 2000-meter race though the latter consists of the top eight rowers of the combined 16. As Rowing can be exhausting and demands a lot of endurance and individual strength. According to a survey conducted by the US Olympic Committee, master coaches felt that psychological factors are the most important influencers of a successful crew. Teamwork is important as it is crucial for the crew to synchronize their rowing. If one crew member tries to outperform his rest of the crew, it could upset the balance of the boat. So, every member in the crew have trust in one another.
The Army crew team of 2001-02 worked very hard in the fall and winter to improve their individual skills by Erg training and weight lifting exercises. In spring, they were on a retreat to Atlanta where the coach’s first job was to select the top 8 rowers for V boat and the rest 8 for JV boat. He determined the teams by using a system referred as “seat racing”. He determined the member of the V team by taking the top 8 scores for individual strength except for two men. One of them focused on his individual performance and is critical of others and the other one is inexperienced.
After the teams were finalized, the V team boat defeated the JV team handily confirming the coach’s evaluation. However, when arrived at the campus, the V team members were unhappy and critical of one another as they did not beat the JV team by a huge margin, and coach P. thought that they were striving for excellence. However, throughout the spring, the JV team consistently beat the V team. And it was not that JV team was getting faster, but the V team appeared to be slowing down. Coach P. was concerned with the results and he along with his assistant did more testing. The results indicated that the JV team had no team disrupters whereas the V team had several team disrupters. The coach then brought in the members from Center for Enhanced Performance, who had expertise in maximizing individual and team performance. The JV team took this well whereas the V team was not and labelled it as “touchy feely”. The V team was not winning the races because of their inability to work together as a team whereas the JV team was able to do this effectively. The V team has too many team disrupters and didn’t have leadership and direction.
Now the Coach P. has three options on what to do with the V team. First one would be to switch the V and JV teams. Second, to switch individual members between the two boats. Finally, keeping everything as it is, he should improve the performance of the V team.


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