The 2018 Ryder Cup has yet again proved itself to be one of the best sporting occasions in the world. Yes this is a bold claim however the justification for it is quite clear. In no other sport do the players only play for themselves for the whole of their career yet in one competition every 2 years, they have to play as a team. This very format can cause some people to crumble and some to rise. But the team captain has a critical part to play.
So what did Thomas Bjorn do that made the difference last weekend and caused the European team to overturn what was hailed as the strongest USA team of all time?
He chose the right team. In the Ryder Cup the majority of players are chosen on merit however the Captain has picks, people he thinks should be in for reasons other than current form. Thomas picked incredibly well, choosing players with experience in the Ryder Cup, with resilience, and with the right sort of game to win on their chosen course.
He planned every element. The Ryder Cup is every 2 years and the Captain starts planning the team, course, players and strategy 2 years before the start. Nothing is left to chance.
He gave them inspiration beyond the opposition. The European Team were inspired and motivated beyond any financial or personal gain. They were motivated by a belief that the actions and results would go down in history. They would be remembered for something more than ‘just’ winning a major. And this video helped them.
He left them to do their thing. Thomas Bjorn was credited as a great Captain by his team. They said he held very few meetings and trusted them and their relationships. He knew he could trust all of the team to support each other, especially the Rookies (the ones who hadn’t played a Ryder Cup before.
He had a great support team. One man cannot oversee the whole of a Ryder Cup. The vice captains play a crucial role, walking the course with the newer players and making sure they are supported.
The team played for each other. The team members play for each other as much as for the personal success. You can see the bond between the players and their passion to see each other succeed.
Surely some great principles to live and work by. We’re looking forward to 2020 in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin already!