Last week I wrote about John Wooden and today I am writing about Vince Lombardi. These men are two of the greatest coaches of all-time, yet they were complete opposites when it came to personality.
Contrast John Wooden’s calm demeanor with the incredible emotion and intensity Vince Lombardi possessed. Wooden was born and raised in Indiana; Lombardi hails from New York City.
I feel there is nothing immoral or unethical about Lombardi saying, “I will demand a commitment to excellence and to victory and that is what life is all about.” This is not a “win at all costs” statement. Lombardi was not a “win at all costs guy” although some in the sports media have made him out to be that way. Lombardi realized there is a difference between being “involved” and being “committed.” Giving that “little something extra” in sports or in business often is the difference between success and failure.
Lombardi “pushed” and “drove” his players. In fact, defensive lineman, Henry Jordan once said, “Lombardi treats us all the same, like dogs.”
Jordan and the other Packer players came to realize what a great motivator and coach, Vince Lombardi was. By “pushing” his players, Vince was “squeezing” every ounce of ability out of them.
I have written about two legendary coaches; next Tuesday I will write about a young baseball player.