Wolf Pack vs. the Herd

I had a good conversation with a couple of parents who came to ride in the launch this morning and watch their daughter row; great to have an audience and it’s always fun to show off what we’re up to. They had just dropped their other daughter off at a large school where she’s joining the crew as well; we talked about the differences between small and large programs and how the development of the team proceeds at each.

We’re a small team. Truth. This will likely always be the case– I can see a day when we have about three eights of women and two of men, but I don’t anticipate seven or eight. This is neither good nor bad, it simply IS. The truth is you have to choose what you do and play to your strengths. For our program, we focus intensively on development of every athlete both physically and technically. Since we don’t have the waiting sea of bodies, we need to get more out of those we have and ensure each and every athlete contributes fully to the speed of our team.

The men used the analogy of the wolf pack last year. A pack of wolves relies tightly on each other, and on their endless endurance, to wear down the herd of deer. Over a short sprint, they’ll never win. But in the long run they’ll wear their prey down. Rowing is an endurance race. We may not have raw power off the start, but with excellent fitness and perfect technique, we’ll wear the opposition down and be there at the end of the race to put our bow in front.

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