In spite of the many reports that the Yale crew is in a bad way, there seems to be little doubt that the men have improved very rapidly lately and have gained much from the coaching which, during the Easter recess, Captain Bob Cook gave them at Philadelphia.
Speaking of Captain Cook's methods with the Yale crew, the New York Times says:
The new men were especially impressed with Mr. Cook's way of teaching. He was evidently anxious to have the oarsmen well grounded, and consequently went into detail, leaving the finishing touches to be put on later.
One of the main features of Mr. Cook's stroke is that proverbial "Cook catch" which marks the style of the entire crew, Mr. Cook teaches the men to turn their oars a trifle more than square as they drop them into the water, thus insuring a good grip by the blades, which ought to be buried three inches below the surface throughout the stroke. Simultaneously with the grip on the water, obtained with aid from the shoulders, comes the terfific heave which marks the catch, and in this way the power is applied during the first three-quarters off the stroke, when it does the most good. The bringing in of the arms to the body naturally comes last, and as the trunks of the men are brought back upright instead of crooked or past the perpendicular, the power exerted by the biceps is not great.
There is just a slight "flick" at the finish which enables the oars to be brought out of the water clean, and then comes in the feature advocated by J. Watson Taylor-the shooting out of the arms from the body like the "rebound of a billiard ball from the cushion." This gets the shell of the hands easily. The hands are shot a trifle downward, feathering being done at the same time, and then follows the slide forward, in which the ingenuity of Mr. Cook excels. Instead of the eight men letting their bodies move gradually forward on the slides, allipull on their stretchers, making the first part of the slide very rapid, while they slow down just before finishing the slide, so as to avoid a sudden stop with its accompanying jar and retarding of the boat.