by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : December 2014
a g roundbreaking approach to coaching, blending the ideas of psychologist Abra- ham Maslow, author Timothy Gallwey, and other thinkers w ith his ow n insights into the nature of competition and high-performance. “He’s like an indepen- dent artist,” says Yogi Roth, a TV football analyst and co-author of Carroll’s biogra- phy, Win Forever. “He’s going to sing his song the way he wants to sing it.” “I’ve never seen a coach that play- ers loved so much,” says veteran ESPN football writer Terry Blount. “These guys love Pete because he lets them be themselves. He gets criticized for being too freewheeling and easy, but the fact is the players are really engaged and committed.” At the heart of his system is the rev- olutiona ry concept (in NFL circles) that the key to success is nurturing each play- er’s individual growth. Rather than force players to conform to a rigid, a lienating system, Carroll and his coaches focus their at tention on cultivating the special qualities of each player, then helping to incorporate them into the team. “Our system is desig ned to allow play- ers to be the best they possibly can be,” Carroll says. “That’s why we celebrate uniqueness, their individuality. They have to act with the team, but they can do that in a way that illuminates who they are. Most people think you can’t do that. They say there’s no space for people to be individuals within a team. I think just the opposite.” The moment of truth for Carroll came in 2000 when he was dismissed as head coach of the New England Patriots. This was the second time he had lost a top coaching job, and he realized that, to succeed as a head coach, he needed to develop a clear philosophy of coaching that he could call his own. He came to this revelation while reading a book by legendar y basketball coach John Wooden. “It took him sixteen years to figure it out,” writes Carroll in his biography, “but once he did, he absolutely knew it. After that, he rarely lost, and he went on to win ten of the next national championships. It seemed he won forever.” Inspired, Carroll began crafting a philosophy based, in large part, on his unique view of competition. Ever since he was a boy growing up in Marin County, California, desperately wanting to be like his older brother, Jim, a three- sport star in high school, Ca rroll had been an obsessive competitor. Although he was so small—five-foot-four and 110 lb.—he needed a doctor’s note to play football as a high school freshman, he persisted and eventually developed into a solid all-conference player for the Uni- versity of the Pacific (UOP). “Pete has always been an underdog,” says Roth, who was an assistant coach under Carroll at USC. “He always had to prove himself, whether playing in the backya rd with his brother or ma king the tea m in college. I remember my first day at USC, all he wanted to do was play one-on-one basketball. He was in his 50s and I was 20 and he wanted to play for hours. He’s the most driven person I’ve ever been around. He competes to be a great husband. He competes to be a good friend. And now he’s competing to be a great granddad.” Carroll’s flash of insight was to make the idea of always competing the central theme of his philosophy. As he told Roth, “once you accept that you’re a competitor, you can’t turn it off.” But, in his mind, competition wasn’t about beating others, it was about pushing yourself as far as you could go. Opponents just happen to play a critical role in that process. “It’s really all about us,” he says. “ We’re competing against ourselves to be our best. It’s no disrespect for our opponents. But I don’t want to place any value on our opponents from one week to the next. I want every- thing to be directed at us being at our best no matter who we’re playing.” Simila rly, Ca rroll believes it’s count- er-productive to focus on results. “ We don’t talk about cha mpionships,” he says. “ We talk about performing at our best. And we’ve learned that that gets us what we want. As soon as we focus on something outside ourselves, it becomes a distraction and can keep us from what we have at hand.” Ca rroll’s success with the Seahawks and USC has begun to shift the way many coaches think about competition. “If you look at the Latin root of ‘compete,’ it means ‘to strive together’,” notes Roth. “ But if you look up ‘competition’ on your iPhone, it says ‘to strive against.’ Some- where along the way the definition of competition shifted. Now I think Pete is bringing it back to its original mea ning.” → 3 Big Ideas that Molded Coach Carroll’s Philosophy The Peak Experience In psychologist Abraham Maslow’s study of high achievers, he found they frequently had moments of intense clarity that gave them access to parts of themselves that were usually hidden. Carroll wants to create these experiences for his players whenever he can. The Inner Game In Timothy Gallwey’s classic The Inner Game of Tennis he identified mental factors as the biggest sources of poor athletic performance. His prescription: quiet the mind by shifting attention to what is actually happening. Carroll believes the same approach can work at the level of the whole team. The Long Body In Native American tradition, “long body” refers to the notion that through our senses the body extends beyond its immediate boundaries and is par t of an interconnected whole. Therefore, when members of a tribe or a team are strongly connec ted to each other, they func tion as if they are a single body. Carroll creates the conditions for his team to find that level of connec tion to each other. December 2014 mindful 47 performance 1 2 3