How You Can Reach Your Unreachable Star

Do you have a “star” that looks impossible to reach, but you know deep down in your heart that you can reach it? This was the case for Coach Doug Wilkins. Forty-four years ago, he had the dream of leading his high school football players to consistent victories. How did Wilkins fulfill his dream? In the past two newsletters we’ve discussed the first two ingredients of Coach Wilkins’ recipe for success: commitment and leadership. What is the third ingredient that led the Mountain Lakes High School football team to 8 state championships and 25 consecutive winning seasons?

The third ingredient is teamwork. In Coach Wilkins’ opinion, football is the ultimate team game. Working together in a coordinated effort is what it’s about, and if one out of twelve players doesn’t do his part, winning isn’t going to happen. Recognizing that unity is elusive, Wilkins worked on instilling it in his players every day.

One way of doing this was with symbols and images of teamwork. In his mind a football team is like a herd animal, such as a buffalo. The older, stronger herd members take care of the younger, weaker ones. So, Wilkins came up with the concept of The Herd. This was an acronym for hustle, enthusiasm, roughness, determination and desire. As a constant reminder of what their team was about, The Herd was displayed in letters on the front of players’ helmets. A large H was also emblazoned on an orange and blue banner. At each practice and game the kids brought out the flag, the team linked arms around it and bowed. All the players knew that if Coach Wilkins said, “You’re a real herdsman,” he had paid them the highest compliment.

Other teamwork symbols included playing the song, Dream the Impossible Dream, while players were together. When the coach and his team met on Friday nights, they didn’t talk football, but about themes such as winning attitudes, going for the impossible and teamwork. Wilkins also likened the team to a flock of geese flying in formation. Each goose has a job to do; they can’t get where they want to go by themselves. The toughest job for a goose is flying the point and setting the pace, but they rotate to spell each other. Individuals behind the leader experience drafting, which makes flight nearly effortless. Coach Wilkins sought to establish these same principles for his team. Each player must know his value to the team, do his job effectively, as well as treat other team members with love and respect on and off the field. This would result in the same effortlessness of drafting.

That was what Coach Wilkins was ultimately after. With everyone working together, Coach found that the total was greater than the sum of its parts, and they were propelled by a powerful force called synergy. He recognized this was taking place when he’d watch his team in action and say to himself, “How can they play that way?” Achieving synergy, what he also calls The Power of One, made the unreachable reachable. That was the reason Wilkins guarded the team’s unity so ferociously.

In Coach Wilkins’ mind, the Power of One is the principle that allows common people to reach uncommon results. If you’re a part of a team, applying Coach Wilkins’ principles of unity can propel you toward your star. If you’re not part of a team, yet, you can become a member of one by forming a mastermind group. Klemmer & Associates offers the mastermind experience to all participants who complete the Samurai Camp program. With the committed input of at least one other person, you can grab your unreachable star and help others to do the same.

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