Conflict: Do You Believe in Miracles? What does it take to create a high performance, resonant sports team? One of the key ingredients is emotional intelligence. Without self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management, players often compete against each other in addition to opposing teams. The 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team was a high performing, resonant team. Against overwhelming odds, the U.S. defeated the USSR 4-3 to win the gold medal. However, they didn’t start out as a strong team. Their coach, Herb Brooks, selected players from two rival schools, the University of Minnesota and Boston University. There was conflict among some of the players, many were young, and many had not yet developed self-awareness and self-management skills. Managing these players was a demanding challenge. Statistically, the odds were against the U.S. team in their gold medal match. The average age of the Soviet team was 29 years to the U.S. team’s 22 years. The Soviet team had also won four gold medals in a row and was coming off a 21-game winning streak. Additionally, many members of the Soviet team plated professional hockey in the USSR. Despite the odds, Herb Brooks managed to create a high-performance team that achieved what is considered to this day a sports miracle. Research the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. The 2004 Disney fil Miracle re-creates the team-building events and how Coach Brooks led the team. Many excerpts from the film can be found on YouTube. Assemble a “playbook” of best practices that helped shape this high-performance, resonant team. When building this playbook, consider the following questions: 1. What did Coach Brooks do to manage the relationships of a group of young, non-professional players? 2. What were some of the lessons Coach Brooks taught the team about self-awareness and self-management? What group norms did he establish to encourage these competencies? 3. What were three sources of conflict or three of the “big six” challenges on the team and how were these resolved? 4. What role do emotions like loyalty, pride, and passion play in creating a highly effective team? How did Coach Brooks leverage these emotions in his players? 5. Are Coach Brooks’ results repeatable? If so, what elements of his coaching style or methods would be useful for other coaches?

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