Human Limits

Exploring performance and health with Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

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Motivation: Great Coaches Meet Daniel Pink

There was a great article on U.S. Olympic swim coach Teri McKeever in the NYT a few days ago.  The article describes her empowering approach and some of the unconventional and innovative things she has done like challenging ideas about mindless high yardage training in swimming.  She sounds a lot like the great track coach Bud Winter who I wrote about earlier this month.

In this Olympic season we are hearing a lot about the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Dream Team and its legendary coach Chuck Daly.  Daly won in the Ivy League, won with the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons in the NBA and won with the Dream team.  From what I can tell Daly was also about empowering people and not micromanaging the super talented players he worked with.

The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden developed his Pyramid of Success to teach his players how to empower themselves.   Legendary track coach Bill Bowerman did many similar things using a more free-wheeling, individualistic and profane approach.

When I read about McKeever, Winter, Daly, Wooden and Bowerman it seems to me they knew exactly what Daniel Pink is talking about in the video I have included on motivation.



Read about the great coaches and ask yourself how you can use their ideas to get the best out of yourself and the people you work with.


One Response to “Motivation: Great Coaches Meet Daniel Pink”

  1. July 31st, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Jason says:

    Chuck Daly was a master of taking very different personalities and getting them to buy in to a common goal. I would agree he empowered his players. Importantly, he was the type of coach that would take blame, sometimes unwarranted, to protect his players. In the long run, players respect a coach who uses “we” and is sincere about it.

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