Sunday, November 12, 2006

Revolutionary lessons for success

Frank Dell'Apa has a good article on Steve Nicol and the diverse team he has got together in the New England Revolution to bring to the MLS Cup Championship game today for the 3rd time in five years. The 29 players represent 12 states (within the USA) and 10 countries. Some of them do not speak English well. Steve Nicol is quoted:

"They talk about one language of soccer," Nicol said. "The common denominator is the game itself. The best way to communicate is by passing the ball well. Even if you have 11 players and none of them can say one word in the other person's language, they can all try to keep possession of the ball. You need finishers and someone to get tackles in and get the ball in behind the defense, but if everyone is passing the ball they will have an understanding."

Read the full article in today's Boston Globe Sports section here.

How did he do it?

"The really good teams have a core of guys and they pass that on to the others," Nicol said. "That is what we used to do. Each year they might bring in one or two new guys. You don't bring in a ton of guys, you have a core and add to it and go from there."

Craig Thornburg, the general manager for the New England Revolution says:

"What the players who have succeeded here have in common is that they love to play the game, and we have an amazing locker room. The players who haven't lasted usually don't fit into those categories. We used to hold on to guys even when the chemistry didn't work, and those issues have been well-documented."

Sounds easy enough.

  1. Love of the game
  2. Common language
  3. Build around a core group
  4. Respect for each other

Have you tried this with your team?


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