Game Changers with Molly Fletcher is our podcast designed to help you maximize your influence and unleash your potential. Each episode, we take you behind the scenes with peak performers to learn what makes them tick and discover how you can apply their lessons to your life. Join Molly each week to hear from her special guests— top athletes and coaches, transformative CEOs, brilliant thought leaders, and entrepreneurs and trailblazers from around the world. Subscribe now on iTunes or Google Play.

Episode 96- Bruce Pearl on Coaching Your Team to Outperform Expectations

Bruce Pearl

In six seasons as the men’s basketball coach at Auburn, Bruce Pearl has led the Tigers to two SEC championships, back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and the program’s first ever trip to the Final Four. It’s success he’s replicated at every stop of his 25-year coaching career. A proven winner, Bruce still coaches with a chip on his shoulder and his teams reflect that fighter mentality. On this episode, we talk about his unlikely journey from student manager to big-time college coach, what drives him, and how he consistently gets his teams to outperform expectations.

Follow Bruce: Twitter

Show Notes

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  • Bruce’s unlikely journey from student manager to big-time college basketball coach (1:45)
  • The story of how Bruce stepped in as the Boston College Eagles mascot (3:20)
  • How he got into coaching (4:05)
  • Embracing a non-linear career path (5:16)
  • Surround yourself by great people and empower them. (6:21)
  • Generals need soldiers. Not everyone has to be a great leader. (6:47)
  • What Bruce thinks of his reputation as a salesman (8:40)
  • The “chip on his shoulder” mentality that drives him (9:48)
  • How he helps his team members outperform expectations (10:46)
  • How Auburn has built a successful program with overlooked 3 and 4-star recruits (11:59)
  • Treat your team members fairly; don’t treat them the same (13:04)
  • Why he embraces the underdog role (15:46)
  • What he learned in his time away from basketball (16:37)
  • The one thing he wished he knew earlier in his coaching career (18:43)
  • How he’s evolved as a leader over the years (20:00)
  • His favorite Pat Summitt stories (21:30)
  • “It’s not whether you can. It’s whether you will.” – Bill Belichick (27:27)


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