How to build a tribe!

31 Oct

Smart coaches produce wins. Great coaches produce programs that win.

The question is what do you want to do; just win games or build a program to last. The latter is far more significant and far more difficult.

Social scientists tell us that, as a species, we have a strong instinct to organize ourselves into tribes. They tell us that tribes are everywhere and that they can form for many reasons including, resources, philosophy, geography and to defend against a common enemy (war)….the latter being the most relevant for our discussions here.

Teams are tribes. In fact, teams are actually tribes of tribes…but we’ll get more into that later.

I believe that sports serve the important role as civilized surrogates to war. Competition clarifies and galvanizes us into teams (tribes) much in the same way war does a society.  In my opinion sports, by-in-large, is a form of civilized warfare.

Can we agree?

But many sports are so violent. Violence is civilized?


Come on…even boxing, mixed martial arts and the other combat sports?”


Think about it? You have two or more contestants who voluntarily agree to compete against one another in a chosen competition. These contestants agree to compete under a specific set of rules and any violation of those rules will result in a penalty and even disqualification or forfeit.  They agree to meet on a specific day at a specific time and location and on a specific type of battlefield. They agree to a time limit and there is typically a beginning, middle and end to each contest. They agree to have the competition refereed and to abide by the referee’s decisions no matter how much they may disagree. Often they agree to have the competition judged by others to determine the outcome and, here again, agree to abide by the judge’s ruling regardless of any of the contestant’s personal feelings on the matter. They agree to a specific set of tools (weapons/equipment) and they agree that in the end there will be a winner and a loser.  This is civilized, albeit violent at times, it’s still civilized nonetheless….don’t you agree?

Each of us is born with certain talents and traits. Some are born warriors and as a matter of course these men and women crave competition and tend to organize themselves into tribes in order to compete/do battle. Every tribe needs a leader…a chief.

The reason this is important is because most all great sports “programs” are organized like great warrior tribes. There is a method and structure to these tribes and if you simply step back and observe you will begin to see and understand their true nature. Great teams closely resemble great tribal societies more than they do anything else.

Some coaches know how to build tribes instinctively while others learn from their mentors. Whichever the case, once you learn the secrets of how to build a tribe you can begin to better understand and coach/lead any team/tribe you are a part of.

Over the coming months I will be sharing these concepts with you in this blog.  I hope you will be amazed at what you learn. My hope is that once you see how deep, powerful and profound these concept are you will immediately begin to reorganize yourself and your programs in the way you feel best utilizes this new knowledge and construct.

While sports as war is not a particularly new concept and the study of tribalism has been around for a few years, what is new is the manner in which I tie the two concepts together in regard to coaching sports. Also new is the methodology and roadmap I provide.

I’ve have spent years studying and developing these concepts. My goal is to share what I know with the hope you will take the information and use it to build your own tribe and coaching/leadership legacy.

I encourage you to stay tuned…


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