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Saturday, September 6, 2014

PREPARATION: THE TOM LANDRY WAY

The following comes from a book titled "The Landry Legacy" by Michael Thorton.  It is an outstanding read with insight into the culture that Tom Landry built to create his great success with the Cowboys.  The best part is that much of the book was written through the thoughts and words of some of the great Dallas players.  This particular chapter on "Preparation" is actually written by Hall of Famer Bill Lilly:

Nothing is more important to winning than preparation.

Coach Landry did not use emotion to get a player motivated. He used preparation. Emotion can come and go. Preparation is more concrete. Preparation removes questions, doubts, and indecision from a players mind.

Coach Landry’s philosophy was this: if you get a player thoroughly prepared to play, then he will be confident and excited about going out and performing. The greatest thing you can do for a football player or a person in life is to prepare them for success. Conversely, the worst thing you can do is send an individual out there unprepared.

You have to have determination. You cannot just want to win. You have to be determined to win. You have to have the will to win. You have to be willing to do the things that are necessary to win.

If everyone on the football team is not on the same page in their commitment to preparation, then inevitably it will cause conflict, which can grow into dissension, which can become a major distraction for a football team. If some guys are working hard to get prepared and other guys are not, then it is going to create a problem.

Everyone needed to be getting the most out of every minute of preparation. That’s how you get ready to win.

All of those teams had certain common denominators.
Those teams always had great leadership. Those teams always work hard as a whole. Those teams were always prepared to play week after week. Our teams were always completely committed to doing whatever we could do to accomplish team goals.

Some things are out of your control, but what you can control is how hard you work to be prepared to win. That is in your control. Our teams wanted to win and we were prepared to win. An unwillingness to work and to prepare was never a problem for our teams.

Ultimately, you can tell how competitive a person is by how hard they are willing to work in order to put themselves in a position to win. Great preparation puts you in a great position to win. How hard a guy is willing to prepare to win will tell you everything about how bad he wants to win.

Winners hate to lose, and they will do anything and everything in their power not to lose. No player wants to lose or likes to lose, but some players are willing to lose. Rather than having a willingness to win, some players have a willingness to lose. In reality, they choose to lose, because they refuse to do everything they possible can in order to prepare themselves to win.