“All In”

“All In”


Skip Bertman is a retired college baseball coach. He led the LSU Tigers to 5 national championships. He knows a few things about building a championship culture. In 1990, he used a stack of 25 nickels to teach his players an important lesson of being “all in.” The same lesson applies today.

Lesson Taught: If even one teammate is “bent out of shape,” it can ruin the team mission. In other words, if one person has their own ideas, he/she can bring a whole team down. And, if that person ever becomes a leader on their team, accomplishing team goals becomes nearly impossible. Ever hear of the notion that, “one bad apple can spoil the bunch?” This coach has seen one bad attitude on a team spoil an entire season, and he is trying to teach his players to get on the same page. If all teammates are on the same page, working toward the same goal, nothing is impossible. That’s called team chemistry. That’s called a collective team effort.

Joe’s Perspective: This happens all the time in sports. A couple players start talking negative about the coach or the practices. Or someone  consistently complains about playing time. In this day and age, players find a different technique on YouTube and secretly start prioritizing that method over the coach’s method. Now, some are doing something one way and the others are doing it a different way. This creates conflict, controversy and dissention in the ranks.  It doesn’t take too much drama to turn a contending team into a pretending team. Sometimes the difference between a big win and a disappointing loss at the end of a season is one little mistake.

Your Turn: What lessons do you learn from Skip Bertman’s nickel experiment?


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  1. The lesson I learned from Skip Bertman’s nickel experiment was that in order for a team to be successful every player has a role, whether you’re the star player or you sit the bench. As an athlete we have to think about the choices we make or the words we say, as they go a long way and can slowly break a team apart, it starts with one player, then their nickel gets bent, then it continues and soon more nickels will be bent than straight because others are following.

  2. The lesson I learned is that if some people on the team are doing things differently than the rest of the team the team’s whole game falls apart.

  3. Every one plays a role in the teams success. No one’s role is necessarily more important than the others , taking pride in your role will make success for the team much easier!

  4. That no matter the reason everyone should have a positive attitude because one wrong slip up could make the rest of the team just separate and at that point it’s just all for one instead of working together.

  5. What I got out of this lesson is that everyone has a role no matter the person. If one person isn’t on the same page as the other teammates, then the whole team falls apart and the team chemistry falls apart. Every has to make an effort to work towards the same goal.

  6. What I see is that every player ply as one. No teammate is better that’s the other, they all have their roles to perform to help them bring each other up. If one does not follow with their role, then everything falls apart.

  7. What I learned from lessons of Skip Bergman’s nickel experiment was that to want to be able to achieve great things as a team, you have to work together as one. Everybody knows their part so if everybody communicates to one another, I believe everybody and yourself could end up being successful in the end.

  8. That you have the same goal or you are just going to be like the broken nickel. You won’t help the team. You have to be one with the team and have the same goal in mind for success.