Tony Dungy made history as the first African-American coach to win the Super Bowl when he led his Indianapolis Colts to victory over the Chicago Bears in February 2007. Dr. Robin says she admires Tony's coaching style and that it is a lesson for us all.
Dr. Robin notes that Tony has said in past interviews that coaching is not about intimidation, shaming, yelling or screaming. She says his calm, guiding and encouraging tactic when coaching his players has helped him succeed. Dr. Robin points out that Tony has said he modeled his coaching style after his own coach, who encouraged him to think about why he made certain mistakes on the field and to analyze his processes.
"It really helped Tony to develop and cultivate his brain, his thinking, his spirit, his intuition, his curiosity about 'What was happening? Where was my mind? Where was my focus? What was that play just about?… What was my process?'"
One of Dr. Robin's favorite stories about Tony is when, just before the Super Bowl, he brought in a former Super Bowl winner and a former Super Bowl loser to talk to his team.
"It's not only to have someone come in, give us the pep talk, tell us not to consider failure, that it's all about winning, that there is no possibility of loss," Dr. Robin says. "We need someone else to bring up the rear—to talk about what it's like to lose, what you learn from losing, why maybe you don't want to lose, how you could have won had you been bale to reassess the situation.
"Here he empowered his players not just with the hype but also with the fullness and the richness of the whole story," Dr. Robin says. "That to me says that Tony Dungy is the man."
Dr. Robin says Tony's coaching style is reflective of the kind of person he is.
"Tony Dungy seems to really understand what it means to be whole, what it means to be rich, what it means to live your principles and to live with purpose, with power and with passion," Dr. Robin says. "To me, that's his gift—not winning the Super Bowl. That we can make that same assessment about what really matters, what our failures are about, how to think on our feet, how when we're knocked down, how to learn and redo the moment so that we can win our own Super Bowl."