🏆 6 Laws of the Underdog

The underdog. It is always a great story! The emotion and joy that come from a victory that no one thought was possible.

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6 Laws of the Underdog

The underdog.

It is always a great story! The emotion and joy that come from a victory that no one thought was possible.

What is the greatest underdog story of all time?

Probably to the USA Men’s Hockey Team of 1980. “Do you believe in miracles?” - the great call my Al Michaels!

So how do they do it? How does the underdog win?

Some people call it luck.

Personally, I am not a big believer in luck. I believe that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

The USA Men’s Hockey team was prepared. Coach Herb Brook prepared them for victory. When the opportunity arose, they took it.

And captivated the world!

So how does it happen?

I think there are 6 attributes that we find in the underdog.

  1. Can-Do Spirit: Underdogs believe they will win. This belief has to come from somewhere. This is why leadership is so important. The coach and the team leaders have to instill a belief in everyone else on the team. The team has to believe it can win. If the leaders do not honestly believe it and do the things needed to prepare to win, it cannot happen. Download my FREE Motivation Playbook to help create a can-do spirit on your team!

  2. All about WE, not ME: In order for the underdog to win, it has to be a team-first mindset. You must do all the little things needed to win when you are an underdog. And you have to do it together. You cannot play as individuals, and you have to rely on everyone doing their job to the best of their ability.

  3. Play with Contagious Tenacity: An underdog team has a clear ‘spirit.’ They know that their room for error is small. They play with an energy that becomes contagious for everyone on the court or field. This tenacious spirit or energy often grows as the game goes on, allowing the team to develop the confidence needed to win.

  4. Play to your Strengths: Underdogs have players that all play to their strengths. When people try to do too much, they often get exposed. The underdog team has clearly defined roles, which always play to the strength of each individual. The team knows this, the players know this, and they achieve by focusing on their strengths.

  5. Win the Game within the Game: The underdog is able to win the games within the game. They focus on the little plays that they need to win at the moment. They do not get hung up thinking about the totality of winning the contest. If they do this, they lose their focus. Underdogs think about winning each moment.

  6. Next Play: The Underdog does not get hung up on what just happened. They are ultra-focused on the “Next Play.” They play in the moment better than most. They know that they need this focus to win. It allows them to live in the present better than most. Here is an excellent video on the concept of “Next Play” from Brent Ledbetter interviewing Caitlyn Clark on What Drives Winning.

To win as an underdog, you must control what you can control. This is the common theme of these 6 attributes. Your attitude and your response to being in an underdog role matter.


Focus on these 6 attributes and put yourself in a position to win as the Underdog does!

  1. Can Do Spirit

  2. All about WE, not ME

  3. Play with Contagious Tenacity

  4. Play to your Strengths

  5. Next Play Mindset

  6. Win the Game within the Game

Good Luck!


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