Anyone who has followed the Seattle Seahawks under the leadership of Pete Carroll has no doubt heard the phrase "WinForever" uttered at some point since he became head coach in January 2010.
They've heard about the New York Times Best Selling book by the same name, they've heard about the WinForever philosophy being used by Carroll and staff inside the Seahawks' meeting rooms and on the field, and they've heard about the free workshops that have been held in Dallas and Miami this offseason.
Now, on June 7th, the Nike WinForever Workshop heads to Seattle for the second year in a row, and according to Yogi Roth, who co-founded, and co-authored, WinForever with Carroll, it will be bigger and better than ever. "The workshop is close to filling up, but you don't have to be there to participate," Roth says. "We're gonna be streaming it online, doing a live chat, and taking questions from twitter. It is going to be highly interactive."
But what is WinForever?
It's more than just a fun way for Seahawks fans to go behind-the-scenes of their favorite team. Simply put, it's a guided process of self-discovery to maximize a competitor's potential.
"We think we've got the ability to teach people how to develop a philosophy. We have a way to help somebody maximize who they are at any given moment," Roth says.
Developing a personal philosophy after being fired by the New England Patriots is what served as a rebirth to Carroll's coaching career.
"Everybody has beliefs. I think the really important thing is to go through the process of nailing what your beliefs are. Documenting them, writing them down. Once you do that, you're forced to make a commitment," Carroll says.
"I had no idea, I was just wanting to get all my stuff down. That's when it started to come together a little bit. i started to kinda feel comfortable, I felt good about being to express so many things so clearly."
After this self-discovery, he embarked on a historic nine-year run at USC like college football had never seen before, Carroll led the Trojans to a 97-19 record (83.6%), 2 National Titles, 7 consecutive BCS bowl appearances and countless other NCAA records and unprecedented streaks.
Outsiders were amazed how Carroll and his players at USC could be live under the intense spotlight of the nation's second largest media market, yet perform so loosely and at such a high level, so consistently. How were they doing it?
To Carroll, the correlation between the philosophy he had developed and the success on the field was undeniable. So undeniable, that he decided to take it outside of the USC football program and see what it could do. First he took it to the streets of LA's inner-city with his A Better LA foundation, then realized training coaches just seemed like a natural fit.
On average, coaches spend 450 hours a year with kids. They're influencers. What better way to influence "the next generation of athletes" by "equipping the next generation of coaches"?
That's how WinForever and the workshops were born, an opportunity for coaches, business leaders and even fans, to peak behind the curtain and see the inner workings of Carroll-coached teams and discover how they can achieve similar success relative to themselves.
"Pete's always been that way, he has always wanted to share," Roth says. "It is how he runs his organization, but it's a way of thinking that's now inspiring leaders in sport and business."
It's not just Carroll doing in inspiring, either. The workshops also feature the foremost authority on sports psychology, Michael Gervais, acclaimed author and speaker Kevin Carroll (no relation to Pete), and others.
Nike saw what Carroll was doing, and had a similar desire to give back to coaches. So Nike and WinForever joined forces and it's paying big dividends.
Pro coaches like Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys, and college coaches such as Stanford's David Shaw, TCU's Gary Patterson and the University of Miami's Al Golden have all been involved with the Nike WinForever Workshops, camps and events. Washington's Steve Sarkisian and USC's Lane Kiffin have also been mentored by Carroll under the WinForever philosophy.
Additionally, WinForever has a presence at Nike events for high school athletes such as the Nike Football Training Camps and the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camps and the upcoming Nike 3on3 basketball tourney.
The event in Seattle will symbolically mark the start of a new era for WinForever. Not only will the material at the workshop be "fresh", but WinForever is also starting the Always Compete Speaker Series later this month, the first of which will feature Carroll with Olympian, and WWII POW survivor, Louis Zamperini. Then, on July 1st the WinForever website will launch a new e-learning curriculum.
"We're just getting started," Roth passionately exclaims.
Carroll is equally excited about the future, "I think we're just scratching the surface. I think we've just, just tapped into this connection of helping people improve."
For more on Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks be sure to visit Field Gulls.
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