You may not be an NFL player, but with the right attitude and work ethic you can achieve the equivalent of winning a Super Bowl, says New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin, who led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in the past six seasons, says hard work, exacting discipline and extreme attention to detail can make a difference in anyone’s life. Just like in the NFL, you can’t coast along on reputation or natural talent for too long.
He also says faith, which he may have needed when facing the previously undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, can prove the difference between success and failure.
Coughlin outlines his lessons for winning, both on and off the field, in his new book, "Earn the Right to Win."
For Coughlin, "earning the right to win" means "every day you have certain responsibilities which you have to do to the best of your ability, with total focus and total concentration, being difficult on yourself," he explains.
"What I wanted to do was make sure this structure, this organization, this discipline, the motivational ways in which we do it — the scheduling, the incredible attention to detail — that all of these things were presented in such a way that any person who wants to be the very best that they can be, who is willing to sacrifice to get there, can be the best that they can be. This book is for them," he says.
But even with the best attitude and total preparation, sometimes a winning team will find itself in a losing position. When the going gets tough, Coughlin says it's important to never quit. "I always try to be optimistic," he explains. "You take whatever confronts you and try to twist it and turn it so that you find the formula you need to help you proceed or to win."
A positive attitude is one thing, but Coughlin also credits the "many miracles," along with his faith, that have helped him along the way.
"The good Lord has been in my life in many, many ways," he explains. "I don’t wear the religion on my sleeve, but it’s been a huge part of my life," he adds.
"Your faith, it gives you hope. You have to have hope and you have to have faith. Faith is believing without any proof. You’ve got to have that; you’ve got to believe that."
Coughlin credits his players' faith in him, his system and the team for their 2012 Super Bowl win.
"We are always talking about commitment, always talking about focus, always talking about concentration, always talking about a good day's work for a good day's dollar … but at this point in time, the players came up with this phrase 'all in,'" he explains. "The 'all in' meant they were totally committed, and when they were totally committed they were focused and they responded."
The attitude Coughlin instilled in his players is what he hopes his book will pass on to his readers.
"I was really, really proud of the way in which they prepared because preparation is the key to success."