Anson Dorrance

The first step is to lead yourself

We believe sport provides a learning environment for leadership and life, and so we interview Great Sports Coaches from around the world to find ideas to help us all be better people.

Our newsletter provides the best ideas from those interviews.

We hope you find one or two ideas that you can share with your family, friends, and teams.

Latest Interview

As the Head Coach of the University of North Carolina's women's soccer team, Anson Dorrance has led his teams to win 21 NCAA Championships and a winning record of 91%.

Anson has been named the NCAA Coach of the Year 8 times, has been inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and received the Werner Fricker Builder Award in 2016.

Anson Dorrance led the USA team to the first Women's World Cup in 1991, but his influence continues to impact the competition: alumna of his North Carolina teams have made up 1/3 of the USA's winning Women's World Cup lineups. Another notable alumna, Sarina Weigman, led the UK to the Women’s Euro in 2022.

Over the years, Anson has honed a number of firm and challenging philosophies, and listening to him made me reflect on the ways I parent and lead.

Some fantastic personal highlights from the interview were:

  • Why Anson feels that coaching men and women in the same way is a mistake

  • How he has learned to recognise particular strengths held by women, including their ability to make moral judgements

  • His personal preferences of who he would prefer to lead him, whether that be in terms of teams, or even his country

Catch the full interview now: Apple  | Spotify  | Google


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Leadership Insights

When things don’t go to plan, it’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset. However, negative thought-patterns often go on to impact future chances of success, leading to a dangerous cycle of negativity and failure.

In this clip, NRL Canberra Rangers head coach Ricky Stuart shares his routine to let go of negativity following losses.

If you like this, you can find more than 1200 other insight videos on our website, covering a variety of leadership topics such as setting up new team cultures, establishing team values, or helping others with their inner voice.

All of the insights are indexed, searchable, and can be downloaded to share. Some may require a one-time purchase or subscription - check the individual insight’s description for more information.

Leadership Skills

As a coach, manager or leader, starting with a new team can be an intimidating prospect.

From working around the legacy of your predecessor to establishing your own leadership style, there can be a number of hurdles standing in the way of a smooth transition.

For this lesson on “starting with new teams”, we’ve put together advice and tips from interviews with 18 different Great Coaches who have been in your situation and successfully managed to integrate themselves and their leadership into a new team, including:

  • The importance of engaged listening when speaking with new people, no matter where they stand in the organisation

  • Good questions that you can use in early conversations to uncover insights and establish your leadership style

  • The value of pacing yourself, ‘bit-by-bit’, and not rushing to solve every problem you identify

…and more.

Want to find more content like this? You can find lessons on a wide range of leadership-related themes and topics on our website:


You’d be hard pushed to find someone who has never heard of Real Madrid. Arguably one of the most successful and influential teams in the history of football/soccer (and sport as a whole), Real Madrid has a passionate army of fans across the world and more than enough league and cup titles to support their astounding reputation.

This week, I’d like to recommend “The Real Madrid Way”, a fantastic book by Columbia Business School adjunct professor Steven G. Mandis.

 “Real Madrid is the most successful sports team on the planet. The soccer club has more trophies than any other sports team, including 11 UEFA Champions League trophies. However, the story behind the triumph goes beyond the players and coaches. Generally unnoticed, a management team consisting mostly of outsiders took the team from near bankruptcy to the most valuable sports organization in the world.

The Great Coaches, together with your Team

Looking for a unique, inspiring idea for your next Team Away day?
We can help.

We have interviewed more than 200 of the world’s great coaches; they are men and women who have won multiple Olympic medals and championships on both national and world stages.

We create bespoke presentations for you using video and audio from these interviews to address the challenges your team is facing.

Our material is authentic, inspiring and challenging and can be delivered virtually or live.

If you would like to know more drop us a note to discuss your needs.


Macquarie University’s Business School is one of the best in the world, home to an ambitious community of forward-thinkers looking to drive change and build a brighter future using bold business ideas.

From undergraduate courses providing real-world, hands-on experience to postgraduate, MBA and Executive courses designed to help students further improve their skills and build even more successful careers, Macquarie University has something for everyone, no matter where they are in their career.

Contact Us

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