Army Crew Team Case Analysis
Organizational Behavior Monday, June 18, 2012
After reading through this case several times it’s still both interesting and frustrating how such a talented group can be held back because of their emotions while competing in a sport based on physical strengths. The Army Crew team was hand selected by Colonel Stas Preczewski, Coach P, and split into the traditional Varsity and JV teams. Although the Varsity team was comprised of the eight strongest rowers they were consistently outperformed by their “weaker” counterparts on the JV team. I believe the Varsity team loses to the JV team because they cannot come together as a whole; each member is focused primarily on himself. Throughout the case there are numerous examples of what defines a successful and winning team. Coach P assembled the team as he had done in years past, using objective tests to measure their speed, strength, and coordination. From there he expected the group of eight to work well together but he was certainly wrong in his aspirations. The Varsity boat regresses during the year because the eight men act as individuals, not as a one unit. This is further exacerbated by Coach P’s lack of a strong leadership style. He needed to take more responsibility to control his athletes and act more like a Coach Knight figure with a “my way or the highway” mentality. We can’t forget, Coach P isn’t dealing with fragile people; he’s dealing with military men who are trained to take orders. Furthermore, a rift was created between the JV and Varsity teams because of the Varsity’s lack of performance and insecurity. While the JV had nothing to lose through competition, the Varsity had nothing to gain! They were in theory supposed to beat the JV boat every time and criticized each other on an individual level after each race. Coach P also did not sufficiently facilitate the kind of team building necessary for success. Instead, his attempts were more disruptive than helpful. He...
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