How to Create a Team with the Winning Mentality

Keving Pederson - Winning Mentality


Q1-02:42: I noticed on your introduction that your worked with Rick Barnes and Larry Shyatt, two pretty prominent coaches in the history of basketball. What did you learn from your mentors about motivation and mental toughness?

Q2-07:04: You have a very strong winning streak with the Bearcats. Are you currently happy with the roster and the results? 

Q3-09:07: What would you say is the main difference between men and women in how you motivate the team? 

Q4-13:34: Do you ever find that emotions play in any trigger point? If there was a motivating emotion, what would you do or what do you look for to help them get to the next level?

Q5-16:23: When you say the lows and the highs, what emotions are you connecting with them?

Q6-19:50: You were talking about the highs and the lows. Emotionally, what is that level? Where do you want them to stay at?

Q7-22:50: Can you recall any of the games that you’ve coached where that was the defining moment? 

Q8-30:20: You’ve mentioned fear, which is obviously an extremely important factor in sports. How do you get your team to deal with the fear or the responsibility? 

Q9-34:17: Have you ever had a crack that was deeply rooted emotionally where you had to work on some other things to help regain or rebuild them, or help at least?

Q10-39:34: Do you ever get them coming back and talking to you?

Q11-43:09: Have you ever met players that didn’t express themselves emotionally on the field? 

Q12-44:38: We have a question from one of our loyal listeners, Nick from Denver, he is 21 and wants to pursue a career of a basketball coach. However, he’s afraid of failing and ending before he even starts. What would you say to encourage him? 

Q13-47:48: Do you tie fear with failure? 

Q14-52:14: So tell us, what could be looking forward to regarding your future plans?


Comments (9)

  • Jessica Harris

    Jessica Harris

    I really enjoyed this podcast, having the opportunity to play for this man I hear a lot about fear and keeping emotions in check. So hearing it from this perspective really gave me a different outlook.

  • Lynwood Pixley Jr

    Lynwood Pixley Jr

    I really enjoyed this podcast, having the opportunity to watch the success this man has had. He talked a lot about staying motivated, being invested and passionate about what you do. And I feel like you can apply that in everyday life.

  • Nick Leonard

    Nick Leonard

    As an athlete myself, I found this podcast very relatable. Coach Pederson talks about the emotions of a sport and dealing with them in a positive way and I believe he is exactly right. Everyone is going to have to face negative emotions, poor decisions, and even tragedies, but we have to learn and understand that these lows will pass eventually and that these emotions do not last.

  • Andrew Reardon

    Andrew Reardon

    This podcast was very interesting and I enjoyed listening to Coach Pederson talk about creating a winning culture in a program. Even though he coaches basketball, the points he makes can relate to any sport and even in the real world. I also love how he talks about no matter who or where they play (at Duke, at USC) they go in expecting to win the game. That ‘confident, yet humble’ attitude Pederson tells his players about can be used on and off the court.

  • Danielle Surette

    Danielle Surette

    I really enjoyed this podcast. Since he coaches Landers womens basketball, these are women my age at my school. So i can really relate to the emotions he describes. We all go through so many emotions daily and we learn to control them. We all have highs and lows but this will pass so we need to stay focused on the main goal.

  • Caroline.C.


    I find this podcast interesting and slighly taxing because of how I think this sounds towards women. While I find his views on emotional winning mentality very encouraging and something we can apply to our lives. However, his initial views on what it means to coach women versus men is troubling. The fact that he initially thought it’d be difficult or uncomfortable to coach women tells me that once again women are made to be as if they are not like any other individual human beings and that being woman instantly means we are all difficult and not as good as the men.

  • C. Wharton

    C. Wharton

    I enjoyed this podcast. It is amazing how Coach Pederson took his experiences from his previous schools and used them to build a strong basketball program.

  • Mahaley Carson

    Mahaley Carson

    I’m really glad I listened to this podcast because I can now take away that to create a winning mentality team you have to make sure your team always stay locked in the middle of their emotions. Try to help your team “ride the roller coaster” and know that the highs or the lows wont last forever, and that is the key to creating that winning mentality team.

  • Praise Thorsen

    Praise Thorsen

    I really enjoyed this podcast, I thought it was very interesting. I can relate this podcast to any sport, the entire team has to have a winning mentality for the team to be great. I like the whole confident yet humble mentality he puts into his players head. I think that every athlete should be confident yet humble, you should believe in yourself but still be humble at the same time.

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Kevin Pederson is entering his 13th season as head coach of the Lander women’s basketball program. Pederson is the winningest coach in Lander women’s basketball history with an overall 237-131 record in 12 seasons. He has taken the Bearcats to nine Peach Belt Conference tournaments and eight NCAA tournaments in the past decade. Under Pederson’s guidance, the Bearcats have won three PBC Tournament championships and a Southeast Regional title. The Bearcats have won at least 20 games in eight of Pederson’s 12 seasons. Prior to joining the Bearcat program, Pederson spent three-plus years as Anderson’s head coach. Under Pederson’s guidance, Anderson won two CVAC tournaments and one CVAC regular-season championship. Pederson went 88-31 during his time at Anderson. A native of Fairfax, Va., Pederson worked five seasons for the Clemson men’s basketball program under Rick Barnes and Larry Shyatt before joining Anderson College in 2001

Pederson earned his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and has master’s from the United States Sports Academy. He is married to the former Adair Clary of Gaffney, S.C., who graduated from Clemson with undergraduate and master’s degrees. They have two children, Conner and Clary.

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