Planning for Adversity

During an interview with San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, he shared some of his secrets to planning for worst-case scenarios—because they will mostly likely arise. He conditioned his players to deal with adversity and injury, the two most crippling disadvantages a team might face. Walsh spent time talking with his team about how it feels to play in enemy territory and what they are thinking when they take the field. He turned these mental disadvantages into advantages by changing the way the players approached the situation. Secondly, Walsh talked with his players about their fears of what could happen if or when the star player got injured. He prepared the replacement players to be ready to achieve victory when they were called upon. Walsh is a good example of identifying the things that stress us, linking arms with those on our team (in our case, other Christians), and developing habits to prevent grumbling which, left unchecked, would ultimately lead to our demise (Richard Rapaport, “To Build a Winning Team: An Interview with Head Coach Bill Walsh,” Harvard Business Review, January–February 1993,