Herb Brooks: Charismatic Motivation in Coaching

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Herb Brooks: Charismatic Motivation in Coaching

In the following essay, I will argue that Herbert “Herb” Brooks was a charismatic leader due to his powerful motivation and his high expectations. He expected great things from the players he coached, but mostly, he expected them to think of the team and not themselves. He motivated with a powerful punch, mostly through fear, but was able to unite his teams and eventually the country.

Herb Brooks was born on August 5, 1937 in St. Paul Minnesota (Herb Brooks). Growing up in Minnesota, he became attached to the sport of ice hockey. He spent years practicing and playing this sport, and in 1955, he led his high school team to the state championship. After three years of college at the University of Minnesota, he joined the 1960 Olympic hockey team, but was cut from the team just before the Olympic games. He played for the United States in the next two Olympic games, and in 1970 he picked up his coaching career at the University of Minnesota. In his six year’s of coaching at the university, he led the team to three national championships (Herb Brooks). In 1980, his United States Olympic hockey team, consisting of all college students, achieved one of the greatest spectacles in sports history: “The miracle on ice.” His team beat the Soviets in a white-knuckle, heart pounding game with a score of four to three. The Soviet’s were a well trained, terrifying team that were considered to be the greatest hockey team that has ever taken the ice. After leading his team to this miraculous victory, he continued his coaching career up until his tragic death in 2003. His high expectations for his team and his fearful, powerful motivational techniques led him down a path of greatness that helped him become an inspiration to all.

Brooks' 1980 Olympic hockey team consisted of college students whose average age was 22 years, and was full of rivalry because of players being from different universities. This young team was being matched against some opponents who had played and practiced together year-round, for several years. The Soviets had beaten a team of National Hockey League all-stars the year before, and they triumphed over this young U.S. team at an exhibition game in New York a week before the Olympiad (Herb Brooks). Herb did not ...

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...out the best in every player that played for him. Although he seemed harsh at first, the team members bought into his methods of motivation, and became united as a team. Herb communicated to them his goals and aspirations, and the team was able to set its sights on the future. He had many dreams, and once said, according to the ESPN website, "You know, Willie Wonka said it best: We are the makers of dreams, the dreamers of dreams. We should be dreaming. We grew up as kids having dreams, but now we're too sophisticated as adults, as a nation. We stopped dreaming. We should always have dreams. I’m a dreamer.” His dreams bringing out the best in every player became reality, and it not only united his team, but it united the country. Herb Brooks was a great inspiration to his many team members throughout the years, and now he is remembered as a powerful motivator and an inspiration to the nation as a strong charismatic leader.

Works Cited

Herb Brooks. Retrieved April 14, 2005 from the world wide web:

Coach Known Best for 1980 Hockey Gold. (2003, August). The Associated Press. Retrieved April 14, 2005 from the World Wide Web:
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