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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 30 October 2014

8 August 2014

Here is a message I recently sent to a prospect for the Loyola Marymount University Men's Crew:


Dear xxx –

I just retrieved your athlete information form from my office mailbox on the LMU campus. I am very impressed with your candor and sincerity.

Our Admissions Office is skilled and experienced at looking past the numbers to discover the essence of an applicant, and I am sure you will be as articulate on your application as you have been on your athlete info form.

Nevertheless, I strongly encourage you to make a statement with your Fall 2014 grades and test scores. The anxiety and academic challenges you have faced in the years since your father’s stroke will not go away when you enter college. Accept the challenge of pushing all the way through the coming semester, just as you would a 2,000m race, and that will make the next semester and the next challenge and the challenge after that come a bit easier. Striving to do one's best is habit-forming.

One of my favorite recent books is The Legend of Colton H. Bryant by Alexandra Fuller. It is stunning, and I recommend it highly. In the book is an appropriate expression which I offer to you respectfully and in all sincerity: "Cowboy up, cupcake!" You have been dealt a hand of cards. Now play them, and play them well!

And, of course, if you think you have it rough, read The Boys in the Boat!

My own father had his challenges when I was your age, and I took refuge in groups I could belong to and in which I could feel safe! Crew was one of the most important of those groups for me. It was easier to apply myself on behalf of my teammates than it was for just myself.

So I suggest that you imagine as you are working hard on your studies and your life over the coming year that you are doing it not just for yourself but for your current and your future rowing mates. You will enhance their lives by your presence, but the only way to be there for them and to reach your own true potential to do good in the world is to earn the place you deserve in a college like LMU.

Keep me posted.

Warm regards,