Posted by: johnocunningham | February 11, 2012

For Great Teams – It’s About the Love

Coach Tom Coughlin told his New York Giants team in his speech prior to the Super Bowl that he loved them, and he told them the reasons why.

For veteran Giants players, who were used to a brilliant, but sharper, crustier version of Coughlin several years ago, the transformation has been inspiring. These players have gone on record saying that Coughlin has become “less controlling” and “more forgiving” and “more supportive” of them personally and professionally.

Coughlin, who has become a student of the late John Wooden’s methods in recent years, noted that Wooden’s “pyramid of success” was crowned – as Wooden saw it most clearly in his later years – by love (an expression of “competitive greatness” Wooden said).

To put it simply, you must love what you do and love those with whom you do it to achieve your greatest success.

Coughlin noted that the building blocks at the bottom of Wooden’s pyramid are nothing less than essential components underlying trust and love, such as hard work, cooperation, loyalty and friendship.

But love is at the apex of success, according to the late John Wooden, and he would surely have known. Wooden’s record as coach of the UCLA Bruins will likely NEVER be matched.

Coach Wooden’s teams:

  • Won more than 81 percent of their games out of more than a thousand;
  • Won a record 10 NCAA championships and 8 in a row at one time;
  • Won 88 straight games in a 4-year span;
  • Recorded 4 undefeated 30-0 seasons;
  • Lost only 2 home games in his career in Pauley Pavilion; and
  • Graduated scores of players who became life-long friends, many of whom went into coaching.

If you are putting together a winning team in sports or in business, you might want to check out Wooden’s work… and don’t forget the love !


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