Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The power of the will

Thanks to Zak who forwarded me a link to a NY Times story from yesterday about the Giants' OT win over the Bengals on Sunday.

After the game, Giants coach Tom Coughlin referenced "the power of the will,” something his players claim they've heard him say before.

Coaches have hundreds of pat statements, at least one for every occasion, most of them hoary and borrowed, but Coughlin’s signature remark has stuck in his players’ minds, right through last season’s turnaround, ending with the Super Bowl shocker against the Patriots.

When asked to explain the power of the will, Coughlin said: “We just gutted it out; you find a way to win. You find a way somehow, some way, to put your will over his. I think you expect that we are going to play well when the pressure is on and we are going to find a way to win the game.”

The article also credits Coach Coughlin's seemingly more relaxed demeanor for the comeback win, which has helped his team remain confident in tough situations.

Part of this poise comes from the calm persona that Coughlin has projected in the last two seasons, the demeanor of a man who learned to chill out a bit. The Giants seem to have the freedom to think on their feet now, without fearing a tantrum.

And from these quotes from two Giants players, it's clear they've bought into their coach's philosophy.

OL Chris Snee: “We’ve been here, we all have confidence. We were behind by 4 points and we broke from the huddle and we went out there with the attitude that we would be successful.”

WR Amani Toomer: “We’re not in the huddle giving Knute Rockne speeches. It’s fun to be on a team that knows how to win.”