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Issue 509 - Equip Your Team Mentally (Tony Dungy Part Eight)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 509
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Tony Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. Coach Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007.
In his book, The Leader Mentor, Coach Dungy explained the importance of not only educating your team on specific skills needed to complete a task, but also the need to equip them with the proper mental attitude. Coach Dungy expanded:
"Take the time to teach and equip people with the proper mental attitude to handle adversity, success, and changing circumstances."
In 1975 Coach Dungy's mentor, Pittsburgh Steeler Head Coach Chuck Noll, led his team into his first Super Bowl game against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had an excellent defense known for stopping the running game. Pittsburgh was a running team. Coach Dungy described what happened next:
"The pundits were all trying to guess what would happen if the Vikings stopped their running game. How would they adjust? When Chuck Noll was asked that question in a pregame press conference, his response reminded me of something my dad would say: "Leaving the game plan is a sign of panic, and panic is not in our game plan." Chuck's message was clear: We won't adjust; we won't adapt. We will do what we do best and make the Vikings adjust. The players told me later that the game was won at that point. The Steelers won 16–6, it was the first of four Super Bowl Championships the Steelers would win under Coach Noll. Coach Noll had equipped his players mentally and physically to get the job done."
In 1975 Coach Wooden's UCLA Bruins won their 10th National Championship. Coach Wooden had taught and equipped his team with a mental attitude to just focus on their best effort and not worry about the other team. With a laser focus they delivered their best effort, not worrying about the outcome. Coach Wooden had equipped his players mentally and physically to get the job done.
What mental attitude do you equip your team members with?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Rather Stay Home

Never so happy as when I 'm at home,
I 'm not so anxious to wander or roam;
Rather sit down with the folks who love me,
With somebody's youngster astride of my knee,
And gallop him off to the wonderful land,
Where armies are waiting his word to command,
Than listen to speeches by eloquent men
Who shout for an hour and then sit down again.

Never so happy as when I 'm at home,
Rather play tunes with a paper and comb
For a boy or a girl who may drop in to call,
For it's there that I shine if I do shine at all;
Rather sing ditties to tots that I know,
Than go to a party or go to a show,
Or listen to grown-ups with wisdom expound,
As their arms saw the air, and the tables they pound.

Never so happy as when I 'm at home,
Don't care to journey to Naples or Rome,
Rather stay here with the folks who love me,
Than run after strangers whoever they be;
A nod from a king or a smile from a lord
Wouldn't please me a bit. I 'd be terribly bored;
Rather stay here where I 'm loved and I 'm known,
Than get on my knees before any old throne.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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