Posted by: David D. Daggett | April 5, 2016

Winning, Coaching, (Tough) Love

Winning, Coaching, (Tough) Love

            Our Daggett Shuler team had the treat of a return appearance by Coach Maurice Atwood, wrestling coach at West Forsyth High School.  Coach Atwood’s accolades are way too long to be given proper justice in this short article.  He at one time had a winning streak of 396 matches which is the longest in the history of any sport in North Carolina, and was the longest current winning streak of any team at any level in the United States.  He also won nine of the last ten dual team state championships.  The only gap in his record is one loss in his first year when he moved to a new high school (the reasons and details of that move are for another time and another place).


Coach Atwood spoke to our group on winning, coaching, and love.  The interesting part about his successes is there is no “secret”, no “magic”, and it really is not very complicated.  Further, his lessons apply to all other sports, triathlon training, and to all aspects of life.

Winning is a mindset.  It is a mindset that takes a lot of work and a lot of repetition.  Coach emphasized that if we are not working, someone else is . . .  and he quickly added that he is not going to get out worked.  He emphasized that on the “grunt level” is where winning really comes from.  It is all about merit – you have to earn it.

Coaching, as well as any form of leadership, requires model behavior.  Others need something to follow.  The one intangible is that they have to know you care, and they all know it when you do care.  He emphasized that is part of coaching.  A team is either getting better or getting worse.  You never stay the same.  He further emphasized that winning is more attitude than intellect.  An attitude of continual improvement and commitment is tough to beat.  The continual pursuit of excellence is what makes you be the best you can be.

Lastly, it is obvious that Coach Atwood loves each and every individual that he coaches.  He gives them respect, and he demands respect in return.  This is a mutual accountability group that provides the foundation for the continuously improving team.  And, while they have to know you have got their back, you’ve also got to hold them to a standard.  Sometimes the love is tough, but there is always love.

Our team once again took away simple and basic principles that will help us individually and collectively continue to obtain and improve our results.  As we say here, every day, every day, every day…

Winning, coaching, and loving,


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