Pete Carroll driven by his small stature in high school


Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll comes off as one of the most psychologically forward coaches in the NFL. But as it turns out, he's driven by the same high school affliction that has created many a great athlete and CEO over the years -- he was smaller than the other kids.

"Everything was really guided by ... I wasn't able to demonstrate the athletic ability that I had inside my head and knew I was capable of, so I developed an enormous chip on my shoulder that I had something to prove," Carroll said on the Dr. Michael Gervais' Finding Mastery podcast (via the team's official site). "I've been different ever since then. It was so frustrating to me because I felt like two different people. I think that's what changed things, I was always competitive and always battling, having fun, but my mentality changed, because I wasn't able to show it and I couldn't wait to just let it out.

He added: "Really, what happened to me is that when I was a little kid, I was a pretty good athlete, and I could do pretty much anything, but I didn't grow like everybody else grew when I got to high school. All of a sudden in ninth grade, I was a dink."

Eternally driven people always seem to end up on top. Carroll, like the Michael Jordans and Aaron Rodgers of the world, turned a simple and common aggravation into a pretty incredible career highlighted by one of the most dominant Super Bowl wins in NFL history. It's no surprise that, at 64, he still has the look and drive of a much younger person.

Carroll, who turns 65 on Sept. 15, is the oldest head coach in the NFL, edging out Bill Belichick and Bruce Arians by a year.

After being fired from one NFL head coaching job after a single season (Jets, 1994) and another after three (New England, 1997-99) Carroll somehow managed to not only work his way back into the NFL, but to create something unique and memorable in Seattle. That doesn't happen to your average Joe.

The rest of Carroll's interview is worth listening to. He has some interesting thoughts about creating a culture in Seattle and some of his biggest influences (his mom is way up on the list). He should thank her for making him smaller than the other kids.