Is There Any Other Way?

Striving for success in Team Sports is just plain hard work. Is there any other way? If someone finds out let me know. Then again, isn't it the hard work that we all enjoy?

Hard Work alone however does not guarantee success in sport. Some teams just seem to win more than others. Examples of this include:

Manchester United
L.A. Lakers
Brazil football team
USA Softball Team
Brazilian Volleyball Teams
Australian Cricket Team
The All Blacks rugby Team

Some teams just seem to win all the time or if they don't win at least are around the winning podium all of the time.

The obvious answer is talent, coaching staff, money of course, and sheer hard work. But there are teams who have all these ingrediants and still fail, sometimes miserably.

Putting together successfull teams at any level of competition requires a great deal of work and a bit of luck, however according to famous American Grid Iron Coach, Vince Lombardi:

Winning is not a sometime thing: it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

It is in this pearly of wisdom, that the answer may well lie. Creating a habit of winning and losing is something that lives witht he coaching philosophies being plied by a team as well as its organisational approaches.

We in the Pacific, play very little attention to this and it shows in our willingness to pay large sums of money to bring in Ex-Patriate coaches to run our Programs. How often is it do we see in newspapers, sports administrators press the help button "Expatriate Coach" when asked what is required to build a winning team.

So what is it really that they bring to us assumming that they can adapt to the Cultural Peculiarities that lie befroe them?

To creat a habit of winning, the key appears to be to create a winning environment. A belief among people that they too can be champions and can reach a level of excellence even beyond their expectations.

These days, team sports require a good solid team support structure, aimed at creating an environment of winning. This does not necessarily mean a structure that provides eveything on demand for its athletes, but one which offers respect for everyone and honest reward for effort.

Luis Scolari, coach of the 2002 World Cup Winning Brazilian soccer Team summarised the reasons for his teams success as follows:
1. The staff and team created a 'Winning Spirit'.

2. The staff focused their attention on convincing younger players that they could win if they wanted to. Veteran Players already believe in ther ability.

3. Scolari interviewed coaches of all players in his squad and gathered as much information about each one as possible.

4. The staff collected statistical information on every games and shared this information with players focussing on both the positives and the negatives.

5. Considerable effort was put into exciting the passion of their players, knowing that the nature of their people was to lead with the heart not the head.

6. Test were carried out at teh beginning of training periods so that baseline measures could be established.

7. Staff focused on organisation and discipline as a team.

8. The team focused on winning their first game well regardless of who they played. This was seen as vital to their mental preparation.

When we read through this list, we quickly realise that there is nothing new here at all. Every coach worth anything will aim to achieve what is listed above and such lists can be found in just about every coaching manual there is. So why is it then that our coaches need to find someone from overseas to do what is very much standard procedure?

No matter who establishes a "Winning Environment", for the team to be successful, a complete and intimate understanding of each player, their language and culture and their aspirations and motivations as indivduals is essential.

Foreign Coaches may well be fantastic organisers or tacticians but very few will have the ability to completely understand the Psyche of local players and it is for this reason alone that we must strive to find leaders from within who can step up and learn what it is they need to do to become successful coaches.

Like anything else, coaching is a learned skill that requires practice and opportunity to develop.
Just like athletes, there will be monumental failures from which we can all learn.

Coaching Quotes
People of medicore ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to." -- George Allen

"Don't go to the grave with life unused." -- Bobby Bowden

"Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit." -- Bear Bryant

"The will to win is meaningless without the will to prepare!" -- Joe Gibbs

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it." -- Lou Holtz

"If you are bored with life, if you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things - you don't have enough goals." -- Lou Holtz

"Pressure is what you feel when you don't know what's going on." -- Chuck Knoll

"The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"You might reduce Lombardi's coaching philosophy to a single sentence: In any game, you do the things you do best and you do them over and over and over." -- George Halas

"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve." -- Tom Landry

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." -- Tom Landry

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." -- Vince Lombardi

"All right mister, let me tell you that winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else." -- Vince Lombardi

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." -- Vince Lombardi

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." -- Vince Lombardi

"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit." -- Vince Lombardi

"Winning is not a sometime thing: it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." -- Vince Lombardi

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." -- Vince Lombardi

"The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break." -- John Madden

"The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer." -- John Madden

"Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good." -- Joe Paterno

"Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better." -- Pat Riley

"When you're playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Show the world how much you'll fight for the winner's circle. If you do, someday the cellophane will crackle off a fresh pack, one that belongs to you, and the cards will be stacked in your favor." -- Pat Riley

"If you make every game a life and death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." -- Dean Smith

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." -- John Wooden

"Confidence comes from being prepared." -- John Wooden


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