Incredible lessons from a football field in Russia and a flooded cave in Thailand. The French team lifted the world cup and 12 boys were miraculously found and rescued against all odds. Did coaching matter? This article is brought to you by Mansi Kapoor of Cult Altered.

“Everything you go through has to fit in with the way you are and your own ideas. You wouldn’t be able to do today what coaches did when I was a player. I say something to my son and he tells me I’m prehistoric. You have to live in your time, be of today.”  – Didier Deschamps                                                                                       

There was something enigmatic about French Coach. In times of both joy and anxiety, he was stoic but not quite. His expressions did not convey much but his eyes did.

How did he coach the winning team?  Here are some of his “sutras”

Deschamps is defined as a Conservative or the old school type but led his team building solid foundations of trust and an absolute reverence for France

what he called the Code of Conduct.

Reportedly, “He ensures that all players have a copy of his Code of Conduct in their rooms at Clairefontaine, the French training centre. In it he asks them to respect the jersey and the national anthem, to display an open and friendly attitude, to be genuine and humble and, in a section on how to handle the press, to remember that “your behavior, attitude and words shape your image as it is replayed to the public by the media, which are an unavoidable and indispensable part of your journey. They mould the image that you show to the entire country, so be professional with them, too.”

France manager Didier Deschamps, left, in talks with striker Kylian Mbappe during training

Also, his definition of talent is enduring and helpful. He said in an interview that most young people have potential but talent is what is proven over a period of time and comes from consistency implying talent is a “confirmation” of potential. Just this simple yet elegant definition can knock off anybody’s ego and do wonders to build powerful habits, focus and discipline.

Last but not the least, his entire approach was to ensure that the team understood that they had a moral contract and not merely a legal or a commercial one. He ensured that over a period of time everyone played in the highest interest not only for the glory of France but for a profound human value.

Maybe I am seeing what I wish to see and that the win could be attributed to many different factors but ultimately it’s a  powerful story about creating a magical elixir of the old and the new. Different generations and different ideologies can not only collide but can combine to create extraordinary synergy. The sutra is to stay authentic and true to who you really are but being open to listen and explore.

The cave in Thailand, when the 12 boys along with the coach went missing and were finally found after 9 days, most did not expect to find the boys alive. They were found not only alive but peaceful. All this time there was no food, no water, they were surrounded by only fear and darkness.

Well, their coach, Ekapol Chanthavong, underwent training in Buddhist meditation for a decade before he became a football coach. While the boys were trapped, he guided them not only out of the darkness but through it.  Extraordinary again!! He really and deeply cared for them!

Last but not the least in the Thai rescue effort was a culmination of many nations coming together and saw millions of people across the world jubilant. The Twitter hashtag # BringWildBoarTeamHome was used more than 1.2 million times.

Final Sutra?  Winning is so much more than the Trophy?

About Cult Altered 

Cult Altered aims to build an alternative narrative which provokes ideas and inspires change –

“one thought, one person at a time.
No Agenda’s No Games.
It’s time to hear your own voice”

Check out their various Genres. Read across 9 different genres from economics to politics and from issues
to technology, they have it all to match up with your taste!  


Feature Image via NY Daily News

To read Mansi Kapoor’s other article, click here

The Beautiful Game – O Jogo Bonito


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