5 min read ⌚
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
A series of trials and fails.
And only one chance at victory.
Who Should Read “The Boys in the Boat”? And Why?
“The Boys in the Boat” is a story about a group of college students who motivated by the perks the University of Washington gave to its rowing team members, succeeded not only to join the team but also to win the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
We recommend this book to all readers interested in sports, and history, as well as to those who need some motivation in their professional field.
About Daniel James Brown
Daniel James Brown is a prolific and award-winning author of historical non-fiction.
“The Boys in the Boat PDF Summary”
The Olympic Games.
Is there anyone who has not heard of them or watched them even once?
But, did you know that politics always plays a big role in the Games? Although, it has never had such a strong influence as in 1936, in Berlin.
But that is the climax of our story, while the beginning of it is on the other side of the world, in the US during the Great Depression.
In the 30s the States were in such an economic turmoil that people could not even feed themselves properly.
That is why students wanted to try out to get any scholarships and financial help they could get.
The University of Washington was offering part-time jobs to all students who make it into the rowing team of the school.
You can just imagine how high the competition was in these hard times where it was almost impossible to get a job.
On the day of the competition in 1933, almost 200 men showed up to try to get in the freshmen rowing team.
The next few weeks, the candidates were put into a programme in which they discovered the physical requirements of competitive rowing.
By the middle of the program, the number of candidates reduced by more than a half.
Two of the remaining candidates were Roger Morris and Joe Rantz, both of them students of engineering.
Rantz had an excellent physical condition since he has grown up in a rural area where he used to work with heavy equipment. Morris had an advantage as well since he was one of the few candidates that had prior rowing experience.
The art of rowing was not an easy thing to learn. Candidates needed to learn how to get in the state of swing, so they are in harmony with the others.
The boats that the freshmen team was competing in consisted of a coxswain (a person sitting in the back of the boat and gives orders to the one in the front) and eight rowers.
The only way a boat could move smoothly is if all the teammates are in complete harmony and row in the right swing.
And, of course, as the speed and intensity of rowing increases, reaching the swing and maintaining it gets harder.
So, it is essential that the coach gathers a team whose members can be in harmony with each other.
Each year, the University of Washington created three teams: a varsity team, a junior varsity team, and a freshmen team.
The right team of eight people would be chosen by trying out different combinations of rowers again and again.
Morris, Hunt, and Rantz were in the same team and were riding a boat made of George Pocock.
The team is prepared for two races, the Pacific Coast Regatta, and the national championship – the Poughkeepsie Regatta.
The coach of the team was a winner – however, he was worried that Rantz might not be suitable for the position. His skills were not the worst thing in the whole situation: his teammates picked him and his style.
However, although the coach was worried, the team excelled.
So, of course, they were expected to represent the US in the 1936’s Olympics in Berlin.
A year later, the Olympics became their goal.
But, even though they knew that they were striving for a medal, they still could not seem to find the right swing. If they could not get it together, they could lose the chance at the Olympics.
What happened to “The Boys in the Boat”? How did they manage to prevail their hardships?
The book tells you the whole story!
But, what lessons can you expect to learn from their journey?
Now, that – we can answer.
Key Lessons from “The Boys in the Boat”
1. Hard Times Make the Team Stronger
2. The focus is the Only Way to Mastery
3. Vision is Important
Hard Times Make the Team Stronger
Hard times make the teammates connect on a deeper level, and thus strengthen the team. Failure paves the path to success since every failure carries a valuable lesson if you do not let it demotivate you.
The focus is the Only Way to Mastery
If you are in a boat, and you refocus your attention to the other team even for just a second, the chances of losing your swing are immense.
So, rowing teaches us the importance of focus and concentration on the task at hand, instead of on the surroundings and what competitors are doing.
Look the right way, and you will be up for a win!
Vision is Important
Teams and individuals need to have a vision in mind in order to be able to fully reach their potential. You have to know where you are heading and what purpose you are trying to achieve with your work and effort.
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“The Boys in the Boat Quotes”It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you. Click To Tweet It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can't waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead. Click To Tweet All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were, in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades. Click To Tweet The ability to yield, to bend, to give way, to accommodate, he said, was sometimes a source of strength in men as well as in wood, so long as it was helmed by inner resolve and by principle. Click To Tweet Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental—the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
I do not generally like books that cover a timeline of a certain historical event, but this book is much more than just recounting history.
In fact, you will be surprised by how many leadership lessons are actually hidden in this gem.