More Important: Talent or Good Character?

A couple of months ago was the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament. One of the teams that had a great run was South Carolina. During a press conference, a budding reporter from Sports Illustrated Kids asked a great question to head coach Frank Martin. He asked about in teaching team defense which is more important: technique or attitude. It was a terrific question and Coach Martin gave a great answer.

When I was coaching in the NFL, we always had the debate: do we want to draft highly skilled players or people of good character? Obviously, you’d love to have both, but ultimately this is what I thought was most important.

As a former coach and someone who has put together a lot of teams, I would say that attitude trumps talent 99% of the time. Give me a group with a great attitude, working hard, working together and it will produce results. Yes, you need talent, but attitude is going to beat talent most of the time.