// you’re reading...

Beating the Odds

How Tom Coughlin Became a Champion

No wonder the New York Giants are tough, tough enough to win two Super Bowls in the last five seasons. Their coach, Tom Coughlin, is as tough as they come.

How tough? Well, not glass-eating, phonebook-ripping tough, but tough enough to do this: Coughlin once asked a player to give him a top-to-bottom list of all the things he needed to do to become a better coach.

Could you imagine yourself ever doing that? Inviting someone to give you a complete critique of your performance? Most of us could never take it.

But that’s what Coughlin did, when faced with the chance that his fierce coaching style would get him booted out the door. As detailed by sports writer Doug Farrar on the Shutdown Corner blog, Coughlin asked quarterback Kurt Warner for a complete review. Warner played for Coughlin and the Giants in 2004.

“Go home and make a list of all the things you think I need to do better as a coach,” Coughlin told Warner, “and don’t hold back.”

Warner didn’t. Himself a class act who had won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams, Warner didn’t take the opportunity to rip Coughlin. He took the opportunity to help him.

Well, feedback is the breakfast of champions. Warner gave the critique, and Coughlin took it to heart.

Sure enough, Coughlin began to change. He didn’t change his principles or his standards, but he changed the way he talked about them. He found a way to reach his players. And the result is history — Super Bowl history.

And all because Coughlin was tough enough to ask what he needed to do better.

*** *** *** ***

TotalGamePlan offers Winner’s Workshops for schools, sports teams and businesses. The emphasis is on motivation, skill-building and teamwork. To bring a Winner’s Workshop to your group, just email coachtully@totalgameplan.com or call (973) 800-5836. To order a copy of “Ten Things Great Coaches Know,” click here.


No comments for “How Tom Coughlin Became a Champion”

Post a comment