It’s easy to look back at teams that have won and see that they were winners. It’s so much harder to look at a team that hasn’t won and answer the questions “can they?” and “will they?”
I am firm believer that in individual talent being a necessary ingredient for team success. I believe great players raise everyone else’s game. However, I think that one of the things that makes great players great isn’t just their talent. It is that they need to win. For some individuals, there is an ugly question that bounces around in their heads about whether their team will or won’t win.
I think the great ones don’t have room in their head for that thought – their head is bursting with the need to win. Of course, that doesn’t mean they always win, but it means they have less errors in their individual games introduced by the doubt that comes from wondering. They always play to win, which beats the hell out of playing to win while also trying to play not to lose.