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?