Sunday, December 13, 2015
Contrasting Jim Harbaugh with Bo Schembechler Part 2
A comparison not generally looked at but no less important, as game statistics, would be the character development of all these young men. Coach Bo Schembechler was much more than X’s and O’s as his former players know. For Bo, the formula for success had to do with some of the following variables. The importance of team was paramount for success. This meant that the participants had to keep their self-inflated egos in check. It was not about “I” but “we”. Everyone that played for Bo heard that message loud and clear and over and over. If the team was successful, then, players would be properly noticed, and given well-deserved honors. When the team solidified it became like “a band of brothers,” according to Mike Keller, formerly of the world champion Dallas Cowboys. The players knew that if they did their individual assignments and took care of their responsibilities on every play then everyone or the team would benefit. In fact, that 1969 team’s camaraderie continues to remain high even today. Bo also implanted the seeds and added the fertilizer that allowed the mental thinking to change. The players began to believe that everything was possible and nothing impossible. Their cognitive synapses radically changed with a reframing of thinking-“I can” and “we can” became inculcated and exhibited countless times. In essence, self-concepts changed more realistically with a much stronger belief in self. In other words, the players developed different- higher level of aspiration or expectations. They expected to dominate or destroy their opposition per all Pro, Reggie McKenzie of the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks. The players expected to win and win and win and they did. With the ability to change one’s thinking resulted in the idea of a higher purpose in life and gave much-needed meaning to their lives. This message was generalized in that these young men identified and became Michigan Men, prepared to tackle the world and then also be productive solid citizens and leaders in their respective communities. Coach Harbaugh also learned these important variables or concepts from his former coach. So far, his team far exceeded preseason won and loss expectations. Coach Harbaugh seems to be teaching, molding and formulating team cohesiveness. One recent example of that was when coach Harbaugh presented all 44 of his fourth and fifth year seniors M Ring’s ,at the annual end of the year banquet, for their contribution to the Michigan program. It didn’t matter if they were a starter, or not as they all got their rings. They were all part of the team. Jim Brandstatter, the voice of the Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines totally agreed with coach Harbaugh in that it’s an entire team approach and everybody contributes-maybe the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Bonds can be formulated when everyone is acknowledged and importantly treated fairly. Paraphrasing Harbaugh, he told his players that a “Michigan Man” takes responsibility for self, is respectful for what Michigan has done for them and do more to make Michigan proud, while venturing out into the world. Coach Harbaugh also said while praising his team at last Monday’s banquet that their selflessness and play “got our dignity back.” Coach Jim Harbaugh established his identity while playing for Bo at the University of Michigan. He went out into the world after his playing days at Michigan, and had a lengthy NFL career. He also coached at the collegiate level, and at the professional level. However, when given an opportunity to return to Ann Arbor, his words are consonant with his behavior as he talks the talk and walks the walk, just like a true “Michigan Man.” Who said you can’t go home again? And furthermore, Coach Jim Harbaugh is modeling by giving back to his alma mater in a most profound and concrete way. Let’s watch the story unfold a we are only in the beginning chapter. Go Blue!