Pete Carroll’s Win Forever Has Some Great Vikings Connections

An idea I’ve had in my back pocket for a little while now is a book review series. To start things off, we’re rolling with Win Forever by Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that the Seahawks are the team the Vikings want to become. They have a defensive head coach who wants to prioritize the run on offense. They’ve taken this model and turned into a Super Bowl ring, another appearance, and yearly trips to the playoffs. As a result, I’ve been intrigued by Carroll.

Admittedly, I prefer Zimmer’s gruff style over Carroll’s motivational platitudes: “When you are confident and you trust in who you are, you can perform to the best of your ability.” There’s a lot of truth in the above statement, but I can’t imagine it’s one that Zim uses a lot when he is trying to motivate his squad. I envision a lot more cussing; perhaps Minnesota would benefit from more coach positivity.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to read about Carroll’s initial failure as a head coach and then his subsequent emphasis on competition as the defining feature of his identity and coaching philosophy.

The prose moves along at a pretty brisk pace; it’s not overly technical. There’s some really cool discussion of all-time Vikings great Bud Grant, the importance of making life easy for the QB, Minnesota refusing to let Carroll out of his contract in the 1980s, and, of course, the importance of competition.

Vikings fans will enjoy the Coach Grant stories. Carroll talks about his days as an assistant for the legendary coach. He recalls one practice when Grant got the players to go for a long run. Carroll wasn’t paying attention, a move that didn’t go unnoticed by Coach Grant: “Pete! What the hell is the matter with you? You’re not watching!” Carroll admits that he didn’t know what he should be watching since he thought it was just a conditioning exercise. Grant felt differently, explaining that observing who tried to lead the pack and who was content to merely blend in mattered when evaluating players.

He also offers some really funny stories about Coach Grant, noting that he “had a terrific sense of humor.” These moments were highlights for me.

Win Forever, Pete Carroll
Rating: 4 out of 5.

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