Cosmo Iacavazzi, left, with Dan Papa of ETS and Coach Bob Surace

Pressure bursts pipes or makes diamonds. Pigeons eat crumbs — be the eagle

Princeton University football coach Bob Surace  entertained the Princeton Regional Chamber breakfast crowd with inspirational one-liners that work as well for business as for sports.

At my table was Dan Papa, director of HR at ETS, who had been a senior on the Princeton squad when Surace was a freshman. And Surace was introduced by Princeton’s NFL celebrity, Cosmo Iacavazzi.

Just two years from a 1-9 season, Surace won this year’s Ivy League championship, surely a man worth listening to:  Have answers not excuses. To combat nerves, do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. Develop habits and rely on your technique when you are under stress.  

In the NFL, only results matter. At Princeton, growth matters. So, says Surace: Constantly evaluate. Make people feel special. Those who had the best workout Monday get to wear the special Tshirts on Tuesday. By working on strength and making other changes, he reduced concussions dramatically.

Here’s one to take home — Surace asks the Princeton business community to consider offering internships to his football players. He’d love to have them in his weight room this summer.


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