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 Why Teams Should Watch Tony Romo’s Press Conference


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo recently addressed the media for the first time since injuring his back in August. I’m assuming that most Cowboys fans, journalists, and football enthusiasts anticipated that the press conference might answer such questions as “When will Romo return to game action?” “How long after his return will Romo replace Dak Prescott as the Dallas starter?” and “How will this entire situation effect the team chemistry of the Cowboys?”

However, instead of a normal press conference followed by a question and answer period, Tony Romo essentially taught a six minute and thirsty second leadership lesson that should be watched and absorbed by every basketball coach and player for years to come.

Here are 4 reasons why you should watch (or rewatch) the statements made by Tony Romo:

  1. They apply to ALL coaches and players regardless of age, gender, experience, position or past successes/failures.

Just about all of us have gone through what Romo is experiencing now. If you are one of the very few coaches or players who haven’t experienced any adversity in your career just wait because it’s coming! It might not be injury related but we’ve all had competitors step up and take “our” spot and have asked ourselves, “Why did this have to happen?”

  1. They are a blueprint for getting the most out of our overall athletic experience.
  • Dream big
  • Work hard
  • Put the team first
  • Support your teammates (even if he/she is playing in front of you)
  • Never quit competing
  • Be the best you can be in whatever your role
  • Win the battle over self
  • Enjoy every single moment because it goes by fast
  1. They embody leadership in action.

Romo’s statements aren’t leadership theories, suggestions, or bullet points. In fact, he doesn’t talk about leadership at all. He doesn’t ask anyone to follow him, agree with him, or even support him. He simply makes some powerful “this is how it is” statements that remind us all that true leadership is not a title or position but rather example and action.

  1. They come entirely from the heart.

There was nothing that Tony Romo said that could benefit himself individually in any way. His statements won’t help him get his starting spot back. Instead, his public support of Dak Prescott will undoubtedly let Prescott continue to play without constantly looking over his shoulder. Romo’s comments won’t improve his stats, make him any more money or land any more endorsement deals. In fact, just the opposite is true – reduced playing time will probably cost him some money in terms of next year’s contract.

Romo’s statements were made only to support and strengthen his team and his teammate. That in itself is so rare today that it is reason enough to make them worth watching.

Takeaways worth remembering

Those are the reason WHY everyone should watch the press conference video. After watching you will undoubtedly have your own, but here are some of my takeaways:

“Football is a meritocracy.” (So is basketball, grades, business, relationships, knowledge – just about anything really worthwhile. Are you willing to earn what you want or do you hope someone will just give it to you?)

“Coaches are sympathetic, but they still have to coach.” (Coaches, are you playing players just because they are upper classmen and you feel loyal to them? Are your athletic directors keeping you around because you’ve been there for years or because you’re earning your job every single day? Players, do you expect to play just because you’re a Senior even though younger players are better?”)

“. . . pure ecstasy of winning and competing.” (Romo didn’t talk about the pure ecstasy of being the star of the team, becoming famous, making lots of money, or even having great stats. He talked about winning and competing.)

“I’m not going to allow this situation to negatively affect Dak or this football team by becoming a constant distraction.” (Notice he didn’t say “me” or “my season” or “my career” or anything else egocentric or self-serving. It’s all about the team, the team, the team!)

“Everybody wants to be the reason we are winning or losing. . . but there are special moments that come from a shared commitment.” (Anyone who has ever bought in to the concept of team first will tell you that is true. Ask the San Antonio Spurs or read “Extreme Ownership,” “First, Fast and Fearless,” or any other book highlighting the brotherhood and the teamwork of the Navy Seals.)

“There are two battles – the man across from you and the man inside of you. Once you conquer the man inside of you, you realize the man across from you doesn’t really matter.” (It’s not the other guy’s fault that he is currently playing well, or playing better, or helping the team win. Take care of your own business. Keep competing. All you can do is all you can do!)