In this new series, we will profile Pete Carroll’s WinForever Pyramid found in Win Forever, beginning with the foundation. We will bring in real-life scenarios on how it’s impacting Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks.
As many of you know, in between jobs during 2000, Coach Carroll spent time on self-discovery and finding his philosophy. For now, we examine how Coach Carroll discovered his, and created the WinForever pyramid. I’ll do this by tying in how Coach’s philosophy is carried into the Seattle Seahawks, who travel to Atlanta this weekend to play in the Divisional Playoffs.
“At the base of the WinForever pyramid, the foundation is the philosophy,” Carroll says in Win Forever.” I collected all of the things that I believed were important in my life and in football and from that I derived the philosophy for WinForever. What WinForever means to me is aspiring to be the best you can be, or as I like to refer to it, ‘maximizing your potential.’ But Winning Forever is not about the final score; it’s about competing and striving to be the best. If you are in this pursuit, then you’re already winning.”
Within the Seahawks organization, all players, from quarterback Russell Wilson to punter Jon Ryan, all strive to be the best they can be—not only for themselves, but also for the good of the team.
“I definitely imagined myself always being successful,” claimed Wilson. “I knew one thing, that I was going to do everything I could to be successful. That’s what I always do no matter what the situation is.” He’s an incredible example of someone who is humble, prepared and confident.
From Coach Carroll, in Win Forever: “Also at this foundational level, my philosophy has this vision: Do things better than they have ever been done before. This level consists of a variety of philosophical beliefs for any organization I would build. These covered the elements of the game, human performance, and organizational structure that were most important to me. They included what would be the most important phrase in my next football program, “It’s All About the Ball,” and the directives known as the Three Rules.”
This final phrase about the ball means so much. It not only means attacking the ball on defense and getting turnovers, but it also equally importantly means to protect the ball with all your life when on offense. The Seahawks ranked in the top-five in the NFL in turnover margin this season, with a +13 margin. This has helped them succeed, win games and advance through the playoffs.
Here are the Three Rules that Carroll uses with the Seattle Seahawks:
Rule 1. Always Protect the Team
Rule 2. No Whining, No Complaining, No Excuses
Rule 3. Be Early.
These are rules that Carroll developed before his days at USC and continue to stay true in Seattle. When you look at them, you can see they can apply to you and your team as well.
Always protecting the team involves having each other’s back, whether on your athletic team or in your corporate office. The second rule is all about instilling a great attitude during work and life. Energy and enthusiasm are integral in our approach to success. The final rule, being early, is not just related to time, but also means being proactive and always be looking ahead.
“I also added behavioral, or style, elements: We would perform with great energy, great enthusiasm, and great toughness, and play smart, all while respecting everything and everyone involved in the process,” Carroll wrote.
On the sidelines, we consistently see Coach Carroll get excited and energized. He lives his life with this immense amount of energy, which trickles down into the depths of his program. But, importantly, he never gets too up or too down. He’s always expecting something good is just about to happen.
The foundation of maximizing your potential is nailing down your philosophy. Establishing a philosophy is the epicenter of Coach’s pyramid. Just remember: “Compete to do things better than they have ever been done before.”
To WinForever, Always Compete.
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