Bill Belichick is known for his unique coaching style. So what does he have in common with an Olympic hockey coach from 40 years ago?
More than you’d think.
When Herb Brooks helped lead the United States hockey team to an epic victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics — known as the “Miracle on Ice” — he didn’t conform to the norm. He did things his own way and knew exactly how to get the most out of his players.
Starting to sound familiar?
Jim Craig, the goalie for the historic 1980 team, took the comparison one step further Wednesday morning on WEEI’s“Dale & Keefe Show.“ When asked about leadership, Craig explained what makes Belichick and Brooks so similar.
“What both Herb and Bill have very much in common is, there is only one winner. They know that. So what they do is they focus and prepare to win, not to compete against a team,” Craig said. “That preparation for us was so revolutionary and Herb drove change. I mean, we played 61 games in a little over four months. And we played it against the best in the world. So what he did is he put us in positions to fail so that we would know how to prepare to win. As we got closer as (a) team…”
“What Bill does really well, in my opinion, and what Herb did really well is they don’t take credit for it. It’s their job. They prepare. And they become your confidence,” he added. “In leadership, there’s two types of leaders, there are people who want people to follow them, and there’s people who want people to believe them. Herb and Bill are ones who prepare people so that not only do they believe in what he’s doing or what the coach is doing, but they believe it themselves.”
.@JWiggs85 asked @JimCraigUSA about how Herb Brooks was able to motivate Team USA to put them in the mindset that they could beat the Soviets, just as Bill Belichick did in 2001 with the Patriots and Rams: pic.twitter.com/FV9MfNVKiY
— Dale & Keefe (@DaleKeefeWEEI) February 19, 2020
Sure, Brooks pulled off arguably the biggest upset in sports history. But there’s no denying Belichick’s unparalleled NFL success over the last 19 years as head coach in New England is rooted in similar fundamentals.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images