Are YOU More Than A COACH?

At SportsLeader we believe that coaches can be, should be, MUST be more than a coach. Our society is crying out for leaders to lead us, to help us, to love us. And who better to be those leaders but superintendents, school principals, school athletic directors and COACHES? The time is NOW, people! Let's start leading our "teams" the way they deserve to be led, being the leaders we were created to be.

herb patti large

"Write your own book instead of reading someone else's book about success." Herb Brooks

One of the most legendary coaches of American sports history was Herb Brooks. Head coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that pulled off, arguably, the greatest sports upset ever, the "Miracle on Ice" defeating the Russians and winning the gold medal in Lake Placid, Brooks instantly became an American legend as the architect and mastermind behind the miracle.


"You can't be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon." Herb Brooks

Brooks, like all leaders, was given a seemingly impossible task; take a group of individuals with their own agendas, selfish tendencies and ambitions and mold them into a TEAM. Add onto this, the incredible task of WINNING. After all, we were Americans, what other option was there? Sound familiar, leaders? Take a group of individuals, with limited resources (no professionals were allowed to play, remember?) and the expectation every time is the same: WIN! Can you say pressure? Stress? YOU BET! Coach Brooks was faced with that same task with the same problems that we all have; player fights, player cliques, daily player conflict on and off the field of play. But Coach Brooks KNEW it couldn't be overlooked, or wished away. It had to be confronted and worked on, no matter if it seemed like things would never get better. CLICK: Becoming a Team Clip #1: Movie Miracle

Miracle on Ice - Herb Brooks

"You're looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back. I look for these players to play hard, to play smart, and to represent their country.” Herb Brooks

Too many leaders are shrinking away from this painstaking job of creating more engagement, more support, more love, for their teams. Obviously, there are many reasons for this, but I would argue one big reason is simply because doing so is such hard, HARD work. Probably, the most famous scene from the 2004 movie, Miracle, is when Brooks, gives the team "Herbies" after a game for lack of effort, lack of desire and lack of commitment to the TEAM. Appearing barbaric and excessive, Brooks keeps pushing and pushing his players until they "get it." Finally, after what appears like hours of physical torture, CAPTAIN, Mike Eruzione thankfully says the magic words, "Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, Massachusetts. I play for the United States of America!" CLICK: Becoming A Team: Clip #2: Again, Again, Again.


Finally, after 61 exhibition games in 5 months, Brooks' U.S. Olympic hockey TEAM was ready. In my favorite scene of the movie, Brooks addresses his Olympic team in the locker room moments before the game against the infamous Russian National Team, the best hockey team in the world, confident that he and his coaches had done everything they could do to prepare the team for victory. He begins with,

""You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours."

Do yourself a favor and take the time to watch the scene. But, instead of thinking what the players were thinking, put YOURSELF in their shoes. Coach Herb Brooks is talking to ALL OF US; for aren't we ALL called to be the lead players in the stadium's we've been placed in? Aren't we ALL meant to be where we are, battling for victory? The moment for US ALL to lead is before us, it IS our time. What are we waiting for!?!

Put yourself in the scene, but march out of that locker room not committed to skating your legs off, but instead committed to being the leader you were born to be, the leader that creates authentic and impactful TEAM not only working together for success but a TEAM that, in fact, does MIRACLES!

For as Herb Brooks says, "Great moments are born from great opportunity."

Chris Willertz 
More Than A Coach: SportsLeader!

View the dramatic scene/speech by clicking the image below.


Do YOU Believe in Miracles??? YES! Al Michaels famous quote upon the American upset of the Russians 4-3.