The Wright Attitude

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Attitude is one of the most important attributes of life. We all live in a world where we have challenges. We do not control the things that happen to us, but we can be in control of our attitude and reaction to those circumstances.
Attitude is a choice – you are responsible for your attitude. It can be a good attitude or a bad attitude. A good attitude takes you to pleasant places. A bad attitude is like a flat tire – you don’t go anywhere until you fix it!

Attitude affected March Madness. The Villanova Wildcats won every game by double digits. The word that most folks say describes Coach Jay Wright is attitude. Some people call him “Attitude Wright.” I think he needs to be called, “Wright Attitude.” He developed a culture of a right attitude.

When the team landed in San Antonio for the Final Four and went to the Alamodome floor for their time of practice, they saw white tape above the inside frame of their locker room door. It contained the word ATTITUDE. Matt O’Neill put it there three hours before Villanova’s first practice on March 29th. O’Neill had done this in the team’s meeting and meal rooms in the Hyatt Regency downtown, and also on all the road trips this season. The wildcats always focus on ATTITUDE.

Attitude led the Wildcats to three important concepts. They developed the attitude that the three-point shot was the key to victory – making three pointers and defending three pointers. Coach Jay Wright spent a whole year studying every three-point shot that every team took against Villanova. This changed their attitude towards offence and defense. They developed new offensive schemes and changed their ball screen defense. It is hard work to study every shot – but that attitude paid huge dividends.

Attitude then led to a renewed emphasis on communication. The secret to their offence and defense was that the players communicated with each other. Their attitude created team communication.

Attitude also led them to a strong emphasis on teamwork. They had more hand claps and high fives and encouraging gestures to each other than any other team. Their attitude was that they played as a team, not individuals. Every player was an important part of the team.

The most remarkable illustration of this was that Jalen Brunson took the honors as being the number one college basketball player in the nation, but he was more of a team player. He didn’t score much in the semifinal or final game, but his attitude was that he could contribute to the team. The most valuable player of the tournament was not even a starter – Donte DiVincenzo – but he was an essential part of the team!
Every business, church and team could learn a lot from the Villanova Wildcats. Success starts with attitude. Paul wrote, “Let this attitude be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5) I believe that attitude ultimately determines altitude for a person or organization. (Tweet that!)

We shouldn’t just measure our own attitude, but ask other people to evaluate our attitude. They have a different perspective. Whatever it takes, attitudes can be changed and become a productive part of anybody’s lifestyle.

Do you have a Wright attitude?


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