On Friday evening March 31st, the Mississippi State Bulldogs women’s basketball team shocked the sporting world by snapping the UConn Huskies 111-game winning streak with 66-64 overtime victory.  The win allows the Bulldogs to play for the national championship.

What makes this win even more improbable is the Huskies defeated the Bulldogs by 60 points in last year’s 2016 NCAA tournament.  After the game, the legendary Huskies coach Geno Auriemma spoke with ESPN reporter Holly Rowe.  Shown in the video, Auriemma displayed complete class and respect.

As I listened to his comments, I gleaned 10 Ways Leaders Should Handle Failure.  All quotes are from Coach Auriemma.

  1. Failure Is A Call For Better Execution – “We had a bunch of great possessions where we just didn’t make shots.”
  2. Failure Is A Reminder Of The Importance Of Taking Advantage Of The Opportunities You Are Given – “We had some free throw opportunities we didn’t convert on.”
  3. Failure Is A Reminder Of How Good Your Competition Is – “You can’t discount how incredibly difficult it is to play against Mississippi State.”
  4. Failure Reminds You That You Can’t Do It Alone.  You Need A Team.  You Need Everybody. – “You need everybody on board.  We just had some kids tonight struggle who haven’t struggled all year long.”
  5. Failure Gives You The Gift Of Humility – “At this venue, this time of the year, maybe we’re not ready for this.  Maybe we’re not mature for this.  Maybe our young kids need to experience this to be ready for this next year.”
  6. Failure Should Make Leaders Grateful For What They Do Have – “College basketball has given them a lot.”
  7. Failure Gives You A Proper Perspective – “Now they’re part of what a normal college experience is like…What you’re experiencing now is real life.”
  8. How You Handle Failure Is More Important Than Experiencing Failure – “What they do moving forward will be more important than anything they did this year.”
  9. Failure Can Make You Better If You Handle It Right – “You have two choices (when you’re beaten by 60).  I hope we don’t play UConn again or I can put my self in a position where we can play UConn again and do something completely different.”
  10. Leaders Need To Tip Their Cap And Rightfully Give Credit To Others When Experiencing Failure – “I can’t say enough about the job he’s (Bulldogs head coach Vic Schaefer) done.”

What did you learn from Coach Auriemma and the UConn women’s team on handling failure?


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