By Ken Reed

The NFL is known as a copycat league. If one team is successful doing something, all the other teams in the league get in line to follow suit.

After watching the Seattle Seahawks demolish the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl, I hope that trend continues when it comes to Pete Carroll’s coaching style.

Carroll’s a humanistic coach. The antithesis of Vince Lombardi’s kick ’em in the butt approach. He cares about his players as human beings, not just robotic tools for winning games.

Carroll likes to win games too but he discovered during his coaching career that the best way to win games is to treat people the right way and capture their hearts and souls.

“This is the culmination of years working with guys, and teams and coaches,” Carroll said after winning the Super Bowl. “This is the result of a journey to figure out how you can create an environment where people can find their best, stay at their best, foster their best for the people around them so that everybody can join in.”

Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar did a great job describing Carroll’s appraoch. “One of the things Carroll has learned is that he must find his own ways in which his messages will resonate with his players,” wrote Farrar.

“He believes in love. He believes in redemption. He believes in finding the best in the people around him and challenging them to find it at all times. It’s packaged differently than the Vince Lombardi paradigm, but when you can nab a Lombardi Trophy with your philosophies, people are going to pay attention.”

Let’s hope that not only the rest of the NFL pays attention but current and prospective college, high school, and youth coaches across the country do the same — in all sports.

“Just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean that you don’t have all the good in you — for your future. People make mistakes all the time. We learn and grow. If there’s patience and love and you care for people, you can work them through it, and they can find their greatest heights. I love that this message is part of our program, because it really needs to be part of a lot of programs.”

Yes it does.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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