The ability to motivate a team to play and practice at a high level is the greatest skill a high school football coach can possess. There are different ways and strategies to do so, and these methods must fall within the beliefs and comfort level of the head coach. Lombardi understood the importance of getting each individual to buy in to the team concept and insisting that they give their best effort each day. He certainly threatened their jobs and challenged their courage and integrity. Lombardi could give the best pep talk in the NFL when many thought professionals would not care about such things. Hall of Fame guard Jerry Kramer said, “He was going to do everything he could to get you emotionally involved.”
The will to win and the will to achieve starts with what is in the head and heart of the player. Lombardi completely understood this. He was a master at raising and lowering his voice to emphasize a point in his speeches. The will to win does not start on game day. For Lombardi it began the minute the player walked through the door. He was not selling victory. Lombardi was selling the will to win. He knew if he could embed that into each of his players, victory would take care of itself.
We live in a day when many players come to your team wanting to play but without the will needed to be successful. As a coach, can you help them achieve that will? Do you spend time on building relationships with players and finding that one button you can push that will send that young man to a higher level of play? Are you concerned about the emotionally status of your team or do you pass it off as something you cannot control?
Think about this. When Lombardi became head coach of the Packers they were a bad team. In two years they were in the NFL championship game and by the third season were dominating NFL champions. In those first two years, did the Packers suddenly go from the team with the worst players in the league to the team with the best? Did Lombardi have a magic offense or defense? Absolutely not! So what did the Packers know and what did the Packers do differently than the other teams in the NFL?
The Green Bay Packers gained the will to win on a daily basis! Could this be the magic that might get your team to raise its level of play?