The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 336 - Great Results Require Great Communication - (Tom Osborne Part One)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 8 Issue 336
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



As the head football coach at Nebraska for 25 years, Tom Osborne's teams won three national championships and 13 conference championships with a record of 255-49 -3. His winning percentage of 83% reflects that his teams never won fewer than nine games in a season and only finished worse than second in conference play three times (twice in 3rd and once in 4th).
Great results require great communication. You communicate with your actions and your words. These comments about Coach Osborne from his former players in the book Coaching Wisdom by Mike Harrity, provide inspirational insight into what great communication looks like:
Turner Gill (QB 1980-83): "During my four years as a player I saw his genuineness and integrity, and he didn't waver. I think the biggest thing was that Coach Osborne didn't use any foul language. That was probably the one thing that stood out the most, as well as his demeanor, his poise and self-control. He was the same whether things were going great or not so great. You knew what you were getting. He didn't let outside circumstances dictate how he was going to respond or not respond. He was not going to change his response because of a circumstance. He was who he was. It comes back to those same two words — genuineness and integrity."
Steve Taylor (QB 1985-88): "The thing about Coach Osborne is that he treated every player the same when it came to honesty, integrity, and his expectations. You felt like you could talk to Coach Osborne regardless of the situation. Whether you had a great game or a poor game, he treated you the same. That builds a total amount of trust and confidence in the coach."
Zach Wiegert (Offensive Lineman 1991-94): "When Coach Osborne said something, he always meant it. He always backed it up. If we ran at the end of practice, he ran with us. He would say you need to eat healthier. Well, he always ate healthy. He'd tell us you don't need to be swearing at practice. Well, he doesn't swear. It was really easy for him to say this is a team deal. Some coaches say this is a team deal, but then tell everybody, ‘I'm the head coach, and I can do whatever I want.' It's not just saying the words, it's about living the life and the actions you take. Players are smarter than they get credit for. You play the game with Coach Osborne and you get on the bus at 2 o'clock in the morning to go to the airport, and he's sitting there writing the game plan for next week. You always knew with him that he was putting in the time, too. It was pretty easy sacrificing for a team goal when you saw him doing it day in and day out."
Coach Osborne's great communication in words and action communicated his great character. The quality of your character is the ceiling of your leadership ability. His great results started with his great character which he clearly communicated.
How would others describe your communication in word and action?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Winds of Fate

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through the life:
Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 – 1919)






For more information visit




Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,882,971

Hosting & Design