Intangibles Are More Important than Star Ratings

Intangibles Are More Important than Star Ratings


Earlier this season, unrated Duke played highly-rated Clemson. All the experts predicted another big win for Clemson.  After all, they have 39 5-star recruits on their roster and Duke only has 2 on their roster.  A total mismatch on paper. HOWEVER, the outcome of that game was Duke 28-Clemson 7.

Joe’s Perspective: This result shouldn’t be a shocker. Upsets happen all the time, at any level and in every sport. It’s why they play the games – because you never know.  Most of the time, the favored team wins. This is because the favored team has a lot of intangibles going for them. Things like culture, tradition, work ethic, humility… However, sometimes the intangibles favor the underdogs. Maybe the Duke coach (for example) built a strong culture. Maybe he has emphasized teamwork and sacrifice. Maybe those players work harder for that coach. This leads to a team working harder toward goals, which creates results that defy the odds.

As I said, this can happen in any sport at any level. For example, my daughter is a freshman on a cross-country team at a small school. They have no business being dominant in any sport. In many ways, they are on an island of misfit toys (Rudolph analogy). However, the coach has established a fun atmosphere that is based on team. Early in the season, they went on team outings and had team dinners. Games are a frequent part of their practices. Consequently, they developed a team identity based on support, kindness and trust.  There are no cliques. Seniors are friends with freshmen, even if they beat them in a race. This atmosphere created comfort for my daughter. Consequently, she wanted to work harder and perform better for her teammates. Each week she ran faster and faster, defying everyone’s expectations. The whole team is performing better than expected. Why? Because this team has intangibles that other teams don’t.

Your Turn: What intangibles does your team possess that other teams probably don’t?

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  1. Pingback: Intangibles Are More Important than Star Ratings – Kevin Mauermann's WordPress Site

  2. Swim, in general, has a family atmosphere. Teams cheer for other teams in races, you can depend on others for relays, and just finishing your race means you did good. Before a meet, my coaches tell the team that they’re proud of us, no matter how we do.

  3. Our volleyball team is not just a team anymore. We have became one big friend group\family and we love each other whether we win or lose.

  4. My team focuses at lot on what we value as a team. In the beginning of the year we sat down with everyone and decided on a top 5 things that we wanted our team to be known for. Some of those were community, persistence, and honesty. We desided on these few because we didn’t want to be a team with no morals and no responsibility for how they are runned and operated. We wanted to be a mature and well rounded team that isn’t sucked into the world of win or lose.

  5. We have experience and leadership on our team, most girls want to lead each other and inform each of us on knowledge we lack.

  6. My cross country team feels the same way as that of his daughter’s. Everyone talks to everyone and while we might know some people better than others, it feels like a little family that I look forward to seeing everyday. Everyone has different abilities and it feels like we are all there to support each other and grow in whatever ways we can.

  7. A friendly environment with encouragement and a tough work ethic on & off the court. A team that has varieties of personalities and uniqueness, creating a fun enjoyable place to be around.