Have you ever looked back and wished you had done something different? As I look back on my playing and coaching career there are not many things I would do differently. I don’t have many regrets. I always tried to do what I thought was best at the time and try not to second guess. […]
If you were to ask Colt fans who the on-field leader of the team was when I coached, many would say Peyton Manning. Given that he was an All-Pro quarterback who led the offense, it makes sense and was certainly true. But what I observed during my years with the Colts is that we became a much better team, and a much better organization, when other players on the fifty-three man roster also stepped up alongside Peyton to take leadership responsibility.
This past August I had the honor of being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. One of my favorite parts of the experience was re-connecting with people who influenced me and reminiscing over the years of my career. I was recently asked, “What achievements are you most proud of in your career?” There are a number of achievements I enjoyed that make me proud. One of the first that most people mention of course is our trip to the Super Bowl. That was definitely an exciting time, however, there are two things I think about before that. These are the 2 achievements in my career that make me most proud.
Self-doubt is normal, especially when you experience new situations. The most confident people still have their moments, while with others, self-doubt can be so overwhelming it can paralyze the person. I was fortunate to have parents who instilled confidence in us that we could accomplish anything with God’s help. Even with that kind of foundation of love and encouragement, it can still be difficult when facing unknown challenges. This has been the case with my life. These are the 3 biggest times I was confronted with overcoming self-doubt.
During my coaching career, I always talked to my players about doing the right thing the right way. I wasn’t always certain I was getting through to some of the guys, including defensive end Regan Upshaw, who was known for his colorful personality. Years later, my family and I ran into Regan and his family when we all happened to be vacationing in Rome.
In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona,Spain, Derek Redmond believed he could win a silver medal for Great Britain. After five years of daily training and eight operations on his Achilles tendons, Derek had won the first two heats and was running in the semifinals of the 400 meters.
Jim Brewer was an All-American basketball player at the University of Minnesota who also played on the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He was an amazingly gifted player and the driving force behind Minnesota’s rise from Big-Ten doormat to conference champion.
We often mirror what we see. Coaches will model the behavior of successful coaches they know or observe, sometimes with detrimental results. Similarly, business leaders model other business leaders or when necessary, try to do the opposite, whatever that might be.
When I played football in college at Minnesota, Coach Cal Stoll was one of the first CEO-type coaches. Most of the coaches I had seen previously, such as my high school coach Dave Driscoll, coached either the offense or the defense in addition to performing the duties of a head coach. Coach Stoll did not. He wasn’t one of those tower-type coaches like Bear Bryant at Alabama, who was far removed from the field. Coach Stoll hired great teachers as his assistants and then gave them the latitude to coach. He set the vision and direction, motivated the team, then let assistants coaches do the coaching.
Coach Stoll held a meeting with the freshmen every year. That meeting had a big impact on me. I’ll never forget what he told us.
“Young kids with positive male role models have something to live for, somebody who is proud of them, somebody who cares about their well-being.” –Donald Miller If you follow professional football, or just read the news, you’re probably familiar with the story of Michael Vick. A star quarterback with elusive speed and remarkable athleticism, Michael […]