7 Invisible Qualities That Create Championship Teams

It’s safe to say that no football team starts the season with the intention to lose.

Every championship team, from high school to the NFL, strives game-to-game to be the best. Often a coach will tell his team, “One game at a time.” Football is so competitive that it sometimes comes down to a single play.
But what are the qualities that separate a championship team from the rest of the pack? What turns a winning team with a decent record into a championship team that wins it all?

Link to original article in USA Football by Michelle Hill.

Here’s what you can do to take your team to the next level:

Lead with heart. If the coach doesn’t have heart, neither will his or her players. Skills, drills and a good playbook are the backbone of a championship team, but having heart is where success starts.

“If you’re a champion, you have to have it in your heart,” Chris Evert once said.

Realize there’s no such thing as luck. You might have more to do with a game-changing freak play than you think. It’s often said that “Luck is that place where preparation and opportunity come together and it’s what you do with it at that very moment.” A championship team is one that is opportunistic and fully prepared to turn those opportunities into wins.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing,” Muhammad Ali said.

SEE ALSO: Jim Thompson: Positive coaches create a successful vision and culture

SEE ALSO: 5 pillars to build a championship team

Coach with your own personality, not anyone else’s. One of the beauties of coaching is that you have the chance to make an impact on players your way. It is vital that you stick to your own coaching style. Know how to act in each situation and understand that at times you’ll have to be tough, genuine, honest and fair. But make sure you always stay true to you.

Cultivate trust. Trust is the key to a successful program. Winning games comes from players working cohesively and believing in what the coaches have taught them.

Enlist players who are coachable. Talented athletes who are too cocky to be coachable will end up being a liabilities, not assets. Players who listen to their coaches and take heed to their admonitions for off-field behavior, will help take a team to a championship faster than the know-it-all who is a team of one.

Think like winners. This is not to be confused with conceit or self-puffery. There’s a quiet self-confidence that overtakes a championship team. They think it. They act like it. They look like it. They play like it. Championship teams develop self-talk to the tune of, “We’re serious about this game and we’re planning to take a victory back to the locker room.” Period.

Develop a sense of unity. Without unity among team members, coaches and parents, all is lost. It may seem like an impossible dream but it’s a necessary component of any championship team. Developing mentorship among team members and coaches is top priority according to Ed Kuhn, head football coach at Parkway High School in Rockford, Ohio. He matches coaches with groups of about six athletes in what he calls “unity groups.” They focus on character and virtue, seemingly a lost art these days. Creating parent peer groups may prove to produce the same benefits. With strong leadership, unity is not only possible, it’s a championship team reality.

Michelle Hill
Michelle Hill, the Strong Copy Quarterback at Winning Proof, is a sports and fitness content writer. She writes championship content for pro athletes, coaches, sports agents, sports psychologists, fitness professionals and transformation/success coaches. Her writing includes websites, e-newsletters, e-workbooks, brochures, press releases, blog articles and book development.
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