I learned a valuable coaching lesson from my venerable HS football coach, Coach Wolf, in the Fall of 1987.
Whenever we WON a game, it was always about the players.
If we ever LOST a game, Coach Wolf always, without fail, shouldered the blame and put it on “lack of coaching, lack of preparation, failure to adapt the game plan, or didn’t have our kids in the right mindset.”
I learned a valuable lesson at a young age about coaching:
Shine spotlight on your “players” in the good times and after every victory. Likewise, “coaches” should ACCEPT the blame for every loss, regardless of HOW you lose.
Think about it. Stick with me and read below…
Heck, I had a lot of highlights in high school.
But there was also one lowlight that I’ll never forget. It was perhaps my lowest moment as an athlete.
It was a late September afternoon and we were playing a big varsity football game against a huge rival of ours. In front of about 5,000 fans.
We were down 7-0 in a defensive battle with 2-minutes and 30-seconds left in the 4th quarter. And we got the ball on our own 20-yard line with me under center as quarterback.
In what turned out to be an epic 80-yard drive culminating in a touchdown pass with just a few seconds remaining, the crowd went wild.
We were down 7-6 and the ensuing extra-point would tie us up. There were no timeouts left.
But then there was deliberation.
I heard “Go for 2”, “Let’s go for the win” as time was ticking down.
Then I heard “Go for 1 and let’s tie it up” as a kicking block was thrown onto the field for an extra-point.
I was not only the QB, I was also the place-kicker.
I remember hearing the ref say hurry up there are only 5-seconds on the play clock.
The snap was perfect, the hold was perfect… AND I MISSED THE EXTRA POINT!!!
We lost 7-6 in what ended up being only 1 of our 2 losses that year.
A tie in that game would have got us in the playoffs later in the year.
I remember the shear anger, disappointment, and embarrassment of that missed kick and how I cost my team a victory. It was my fault.
After the game in the locker room, I’ll never forget what Coach Wolf shared to the team, to the press, and to me…
Coach said, “Todd, that loss was NOT on you or the kick. That was on our coaching staff. We hesitated to kick or go for 2 and it put you in a position where you were rushed and couldn’t do what you do as the kicker. It should have never come down to that anyway. We should have been more aggressive in our play calling throughout the game and passed the ball more than we did. It should have never come down to a crazy 80-yard, 2-minute drive with pure pandemonium following. That loss rests solely on my shoulders. I’m sorry. I take complete responsibility for that loss.”
WOW. Here I was a 17-year old kid who just let his team down, I was in tears, I cost us the game, and the COACH WAS TAKING THE BLAME.
Listen, I’ve coached a long time now on many levels and in many different sports. I’ll never forget that.
Now, there is NEVER a loss that I don’t feel I’m responsible for. Regardless how a kid missed a shot, fumbled a ball, missed a kick, struck out, or didn’t “do his/her job.”
Thanks Coach Wolf. It’s a lesson I use now in both ATHLETICS and all my LIFE-COACHING.
GREAT Coaches Shine a spotlight on their “players” in the good times and after victory. They also help them PREPARE to win, put them in unexpected positions to ultimately succeed, make adjustments, and instill BELIEF in their players AFTER a loss…even if a kid thinks he/she lost them the game.
GREAT COACHES also unequivocally ACCEPT any loss “on them,” regardless of how a team/individual loses.
My friends, most people reading this have been in their fair share of athletic events or competitions. Either as an athlete or a coach.
And most people have had their fair share of wins and losses.
And I bet you can think of a few coaches right now who always pinned their losses on their players and rarely took responsibility for a loss.
Think about it. It applies to both sport & business.
Whether you are the “coach” or the “leader,” I challenge you to put the ball in your hands and go for the win.
And when you do, highlight the players.
And every now and then when you don’t win, accept the loss as the coach, boss, or leader.
Watch what happens to your athlete!!!
It’s amazing how one of my lowest moments as an athlete… has become one of my greatest lessons as a coach.
Love you guys…keep hitting, running, swinging, kicking, punching, and going for the WIN. If you don’t happen to get the “W”, it’s on “me.” #WeGotThis
P.S. #1. I would LOVE to Coach YOU even deeper!!!
Starting this Sunday, I am kicking off my 60-Day IMPACT COACHING program for people who want to get ahead in business & life.
This program is designed for entrepreneurs, leaders, high-performers, and even “coaches” who want the highest level of motivation, accountability, and life-coaching available that I do.
There are 6 spots remaining and the program kicks-off Sunday at 4 pm PST/7 pm EST. Are you in?
Here are a few questions I have received on IMPACT Coaching:
- How much of the program is dedicated to business, body, and life?
This coaching program addresses both your professional and personal life equally. We recognize that your business and your personal life go hand-in-hand and in order to accelerate your growth, we will focus on business, leadership, and personal development.
- Will there be personalized workouts and Is there any nutrition guidance?
This program includes 60 days of workouts as well as nutritional guidance. We also customize the workouts to meet any specific needs that you have. Our goal is to get you into a steady routine of working out and eating right. I want to get you in the best shape of your life…NOW!
- Will you help me gain clarity on my goals and hold me accountable for achieving them?
The first step to growth is to be clear about where you’re going. Through a variety of tools, we will coach you to clarify your vision and outline the strategy to reach them. And, of course, we will hold you accountable every step of the way.
- How much time will I need to commit to the program? Will there be resources and homework provided?
You will have 3 coaching calls each with Kelli and me, weekly assignments, and physical workouts to complete each day. There are also team challenges to get you fired up and to keep you connected with the rest of the group. Resources and homework will be given following each coaching session. Ultimately, what you put into this program is what you will get out of it. But I will be making sure you G.S.S.D. (Get Serious Stuff Done).
- If I need additional coaching will that be available?
Yes, we are available for you throughout the 60 Day Program and once the program ends, we have additional coaching opportunities for you as well.
- How many people will be in the program?
12. I want to be able to connect deeply with every individual and make sure we go hard-charging into 2021 with our feet on fire!!!
There are 4-spots left. Apply TODAY!!!
If you are someone who seeks your highest potential and wants to create the most IMPACT in your life, this “IMPACT Coaching” program is for you. There is no certain level of “success” that is required but I am looking for people who WILL…
- Take ACTION.
- DREAM BIG.
- Take responsibility to DO THE WORK necessary to make the changes desired.
- Be COACHABLE.
- Want to Play BIG and make HUGE IMPACT!!!
If this is you, apply and sign-up today. Click the link and take ACTION.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION!!!!
P.S. #2. An Intern asks me 5-Deep Questions—MUST LISTEN!!
Today’s IMPACT SHOW podcast is a deep one…
Today’s podcast episode with intern Jeff Li took an interesting twist and turn when Jeff asked me some deep questions that went way beyond training. This includes not only the favorite types of clients that I train but Jeff also asks how I keep motivated, how I found my calling and how my faith has played a significant role in making me who I am today.
Be sure to listen to this episode as I know you will get great value from it. If you need more energy, positivity and soul today, this is the episode you’re going to want to listen to.
Jeff Li’s Questions:
- What type of clients are your favorite to train? (Pro athletes? High School Athletes? Weekend Warriors? etc.) and Why?
- How did you find your calling? How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
- What keeps you motivated? How do you continue to function with the same energy levels? (Especially with COVID19)?
- How has your style of training developed (or stayed the same) as you gained more experience?
- How has your faith played a role in making you the person you are today?