March 5 ~  Success Is Not Forever NFL Experience

"Success is not forever, and failure is never final." ~ Don Shula

Don Shula

A man who wrote the book on success--former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula (1930-) won the most games in NFL history (347-173-6).

"My coaching philosophy?" said Shula, a man with the natural ability to lead and motivate others. "Determine your players' talents and give them every weapon to get the most from those talents."

According to writer Ken Blanchard, Coach Shula had a 24-hour rule. Everyone on the team had a maximum 24 hours after a game to celebrate the thrill of a win or lament a defeat. Twenty-four hours to experience it all. Once the time was up, EVERYONE put the experience behind them and moved on to focus on the next opponent and meet the new challenge.

"Mental attitude toward winning and losing is key," Shula admitted. "How you rebound from a setback speaks volumes about who you are. Your attitude makes all the difference."

In 1972, Shula led his team to a perfect season--the only NFL team ever to win every regular season and playoff game.

Shula believed in coaching with flexibility and adaptability. By being detail-oriented and well-prepared, he was always ready for the unexpected and able to call an audible. When asked about his leadership model, he said,"Everything I do is to prepare people to perform to the best of their ability."

"The team that makes the fewest errors wins the game."

When he retired after the 1995 season, he had logged in an amazing 33 seasons as an NFL head coach, 26 of them as head coach of the Dolphins.

Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997 and he said, "I want to count my blessings, I've been able to do something for a lifetime that I have enjoyed doing."

More FOOTBALL Quotations

Football AmericaKeep success... and failure in perspective.