Archive for February, 2011

Lombardi’s Junoon

Friday, February 11th, 2011
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The coach who set the standard of high performing NFL teams

The coach who set the standard of high performing NFL teams

I was watching the press conference conducted by Green Bay’s coach Mike McCarthy and in his discussion a single comment caught my attention. He said something to the effect, “we have come here to take our trophy home”.  He said it with such conviction that his body language surprised me, it was as if they had lost their prized possession and were now taking it back.

Pittsburgh’s coach Mike Tomlin had a similar body language – the strong conviction that the Super Bowl trophy belongs to Pittsburgh. Both coaches were just not talking about becoming champions, they wanted to communicate that their respective team truly represented what the Super Bowl trophy really meant. It appears that the Super Bowl is not just a championship. It represents something bigger, it represents what Coach Vince Lombardi stood for in his life. In my opinion, the Super Bowl trophy was renamed to Vince Lombardi Trophy because the NFL wanted to communicate that winning the trophy did not just mean you were the best team in the league, it meant that you as a team have risen above all in the areas of perseverance, commitment, drive and discipline.

Coach Vince Lombardi was a man with great clarity and precise thinking regarding winning and being a part of a team. However, his passion went beyond just trying to simply win championships to setting and defining the standards of high performance and conduct by a professional sports team.

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Vince Lombardi

Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success. Vince Lombardi

I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment of excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you. Vince Lombardi

A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done. Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi’s name represents a team’s drive to be the best at their task, it represents hours of dedicated hard work, it represents a humble quiet confidence in their abilities. For those who have read my book, they would recognize that Coach Vince Lombardi was in a state of Junoon to achieve the highest level of performance from his team. His Junoon led Packers to move from being the worst performing team in the NFL to the best performing team in one year and winning a record six times.

It is interesting to see that today two teams are playing the Super Bowl that have won the championship 6 times each, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams truly represent the essence of Lombardi’s Junoon, to be the best at your trade, and rise to the challenge with dignity and commitment. Lombardi’s Junoon has uplifted the NFL enterprise, which includes the teams, the players and most of all the fans. He has singlehandedly defined the high quality of this sport and what it represents. When we watch our teams play in the Super Bowl it is not just a championship match but a representation of the most positive side of our human spirit.

Steelers bring home number 7!!!

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Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson

Best Selling Author of
"Three Cups of Tea"

"My Junoon is to help the world in not only recognizing the ill effects caused by illiteracy but also to eradicate it."