Urban Meyer: 'You can push people as far as they trust you'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday April 11, 2017


Urban Meyer says there’s a difference between failing and being a failure.

Ohio State now offers a master's degree in sports coaching, and the department released two short videos of Meyer talking coaching philosophies. One was on handling losing and failure.

Everyone fails at some point, whether in sports or life, and how that person reacts to it determines if it’s a failure.

Just because you lose or fail doesn’t make you a loser. It doesn’t make you a failure,” Meyer said. “If you accept it, then you start bordering on the fact that you’re a failure or a loser. I always like to say, when we lose a game, it’s not that we lost the game, it’s because we ran out of time. We don’t lose many around here, but when you do, that does not make you a loser.

“When you fail in a drill — athletics are so competitive at this level, that you are going to face good teams and lose, that means all we do is go to work the next day.”

The other video touches on something Meyer only learned about leadership through years of experience. Every coach says they want to set a standard and have everyone live up to it, but they can’t just say words.

For Meyer, the relationships and trust formed is how you get there.

“Here’s the new definition of leadership that I’ve learned since the second half of my career,” Meyer said. “A leader must earn trust, be very clear about the standards that you set, and inspire and motivate those to achieve those standards.”

So it’s a much more in-depth quote than just, ‘set a standard and demand it.’ If you don’t earn that trust as a leader, you’re going to have a tough time coaching people how to leave this room. If you earn the trust of people, you can push people as far as they trust you.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.