In “Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion” Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explains his philosophy of winning, which took Carroll more than a decade to develop and fine tune.
Carroll traces the origins of his “Win Forever” philosophy to 2000, after he was fired from his first NFL head coaching job. Getting fired prompted Carroll to re-think his coaching philosophy. During this period he read a book by legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, and was taken aback when he realized it took Coach Wooden 16 years to develop his coaching philosophy. What’s more, Carroll was intrigued to realize once Wooden got his system figured it out, his teams were nearly unstoppable, winning 10 of the next 12 national championships.
After that epiphany, Carroll decided to develop his own coaching philosophy and design a detailed plan to implement it. Carroll hoped putting together his own comprehensive plan for winning would propel him toward Wooden-like success, with his teams being successful, year after year after year.
Carroll started by first writing out phrases and bullet points about his coaching vision and what he wanted his next football program to look like. Eventually he distilled the core of his philosophy down to “always compete” – which Carroll says is more about always doing your best rather than beating your opponent.
Carroll got the chance to try out his new Win Forever program when he was hired as USC’s head football coach – and the results were excellent: winning record of 97-19 (adjusted to 83-19 by the NCAA), two BCS championship game appearances, and six BCS bowl appearances.
Carroll is quick to point out his “Win Forever” principles aren’t just for teams to succeed in athletic competition; Win Forever can be used to maximize your potential in every aspect of life.
I like this quote from page 85: “My opponents are not my enemies. My opponents are the people who offer me the opportunity to succeed. The tougher my opponents, the more they present me with the opportunity to live to my full potential and play my best.”
One short-coming of this book: if you’re looking for insights or self-reflection about Carroll’s problems at USC (recruiting violations involving Reggie Bush and NCAA sanctions), you’ll be disappointed since the book completely skips over Carroll’s USC problems.
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