Imagine an eight-person rowing team. Each seat serves a purpose toward one goal: crossing the finish line first. The rower at the bow is concerned with balance. Those in the other seats work like an engine, some reserving their power while others use their strength to produce fast and fluid momentum.
Arguably the most important role — the cox — doesn’t even hold an oar. The cox doesn’t provide the team with muscle, but with direction and motivation. The rowers’ power goes to waste without the cox’s vision and strategy. The cox steers the team’s rhythm and pace to keep one athlete from carrying too much of the collective burden.