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The Army Crew Team

GROUP AO-2

Why does the Varsity team lose to the JV Team?


After the formation of the Varsity team, there was no instance the team could have an
interaction with each other. There lacked a feedback session where in after each practice
session the players from both the team i.e. Junior Varsity team and the Varsity team could
provide inputs and collective criticism to each other. Being the coach of the team, Coach P had
to develop a certain goal for the Varsity team so as the Varsity players could work towards that
Goal.
Instead Coach P was insisting on having competition between both the JV as well as V. Coach P
lacked the foresightedness in identifying the players attitude and emotions; rather he had
selected the team based on strength and agility. The Varsity Team did not work as a cohesive
unit and all the players were working towards achieving their individual goal rather than team
goal. There lacked Team building measures by the coach himself and rowing being a very
synchronized sport needs utmost coordination amongst the team players.
There seemed to be a situation where the rowers were blaming each other for the Varsity
teams performance rather than thinking collectively thinking as a unit a and going about in
resolving the issues. The rowing team lacked a leader who could lead from the front instead
there were too many disruptors in the team. The rowers never let out their opinions and kept
internalized their feeling towards themselves. There lacked consensus amongst the team
members and lack of unanimity which was needed to win the competition.
The case presented here consists of teams that are quite dysfunctional groups. It is clearly seen
that theyre stuck in storming phase of team development which means it could even tough
going to next stage of Norming where the trust has been achieved. The efforts made by the
coach have been futile in identifying the weak link and insolating the reasons for destructive
conflicts happening in the group. Unfortunately the problem with the Varsity team was
confronted too late to be solved before Nationals.
Coach P. was ever interested in team building concept. His focus was primarily in identifying the
top eight wherein focus should have been in selecting top sixteen. This delineation between the
Varsity and JV boats created the environment that caused the conflict. In the event of

The Army Crew Team

GROUP AO-2

separating the two teams, he, unknowingly, planted the seeds of separations between the
individuals which turned out to be a destructive concept for the entire team.

What should Coach P. have done differently earlier in the season to resolve this
problem?
Coach P. should have applied following technique/procedures in the earlier season to resolve
the problem:Team Meetings:
Coach P. should have organized frequent team meetings or ice breaking sessions that would
enable the teammates to gel in with each other. Ice breakers come in handy for team building
when you are forming a new team. They also work well when you are repurposing a team with
a new mission.
Conflict Resolution /Anger Suppression
As rowing is a team effort it requires lot of coordination and cooperation with synchronization
at its helm amongst team members. Trust is the key to team building and therefore coach
should engage the team in trust & team building activities. Currently there are some unresolved
conflicts which unfolded towards the end of the case which need to resolve immediately. In
order to curb the anger and negative aggression among the players, coach P. should organize
games such as paintball, wrestling and tug Of war etc where in team members can splash out
their frustration.
Brainstorming /Team discussions
Once the team is formed and anger is restrained out from team, members need to go for team
discussions along with brainstorming sessions and knowledge sharing sessions in order to
integrate trust, faith and team building measures which could help them in enhancement of
team harmonization.

The Army Crew Team

GROUP AO-2

Provide group Mentoring:


One-on-one mentoring is important for teammates and always recommended when you bring a
new member into your Team. But, Group mentoring by a senior Team mate or Team leader is
another opportunity for team building. In group mentoring, one on one feedback are given
during which members of team learn new skills and approaches while furthering their
relationships with fellow teammates. Also in group mentoring each of the team mates can
share team's weaknesses and can suggest measures to work on them. Hence the coach should
organize group mentoring sessions to foster group development.
Team Goal, Direction and Communication:
Coach should set a specific common team goal upon which the Varsity team members can work
rather than getting deviated by their individual goals and hence a clear and challenging
direction to achieve the goal should be preached to Varsity. Coach P. should ensure that the
team mates keep goals and expectations clear. Regular and proper feedback on individual and
team performance should be given in order to monitor and track team's progress.

What action do you recommend for Coach P. and why?


We as a group, recommend team JV to be selected for competing at Nationals. The JV crew has
time and again proved that theyre doing better than team Varsity as a team. It is quite possible
that with some efforts team Varsity can improve their performance but it is hard to ignore the
fact that Coach P., masters level coach, has scrutinized the team Varsity on a psychological
level resulting in futile efforts with competition just four days away. The option of rearranging
the crew also has proved to be a devastating idea in the given time frame, pertaining to
unwillingness to adjourn from their team and the risk involved with trying to form a functional
new team in four days. By elevating team JV to Varsity, Coach P. can bet on the highly
synchronized team with stable team psyche and could try fine tuning their performance as so to
enable them to win the competition.