The word “culture” has become a huge buzzword in the coaching community over the past few years, so when Mike Gundy launched into a long-winded answer about the culture he and his staff have created in Stillwater, I was dialed in.
While Gundy ended up sharing a bit about their team culture, it was an analogy he used while explaining how he handles wins and losses as a coach that really caught my attention. It’s a fitting answer following their 45-40 loss to Kansas State last weekend.
“Sundays are not very fun here when you lose, because everything builds up to one week of preparation. So for me to come in here and say that everyone is happy and passing around lollipops, and telling jokes, that’s not the way it is. There are some long faces. But that’s my job – to fix it – and the culture that we have allows them, and it should, that you get your butt ready to play the next game.”
“It’s the same way when you have a big win. Sometimes maybe a little worse, because they’re floating on cloud nine and human nature is ‘tell me how good I am.’ I love that.”
“It’s like with your wife or girlfriend, or whatever, if you keep telling them how nice she looks, it’s going to pay off for you at some point.”
“It’s the same thing with winning and losing. People tell you all the time how good you are, and it becomes ‘Yeah, I’m pretty good. I don’t know if I have to go as hard on that rep.’ But when you lose, the difficult part is you have to look in the mirror and ask ‘What could I have done better?”
Gundy goes on to share why his staff really doesn’t look forward to seeing him on Sunday’s, and especially after a loss.
See his full comments in the clip.