Turn underdogs into winners – create the right winning environment

Winning is an important part of the reason we engage with sport. Winning at all costs is not, though.

In truth, the struggle to win can be either a brilliant learning journey or a thoroughly horrible and demotivating experience.

Here are four articles that will help you put winning in the right context and create environments that will allow your players to thrive, even against the odds. While you might be able to find a few shortcuts, it’s better to identify what is good in your current approach to training and what you need to change.

First, I explore ways to make winning an integral part of your coaching philosophy. In Create winners – keep scores for everything, I suggest ways to motivate players to seek small wins in everything they do, so they can build momentum.

Jim Love, who’s had plenty of success with teams like the All Black Maoris, tells us how, when he arrived in the US to take on a role with the US Falcons, he was able to develop a winning culture in a team of underdogs.

Once you are ahead in the game, it can be hard to maintain the right edge. In Rugby coaching tips to get a winning mental approach, we look at ways to maintain your lead in a game and not give away points as you try to close out the match.

Finally, to add balance, we also need to consider winning and our role as leaders. Read my reflection on the First Law of Leadership, which comes from the book by John C. Maxwell, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.


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