At 2 p.m. EST Iceland and Croatia will meet on the field as group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

A win for Croatia will send Iceland home (preview today’s game at ). Whether or not that occurs, Iceland’s head coach (a dentist who still treats longtime patients when he’s back on the 5.2-square-mile island of Heimaey) inspires his team with a secret weapon: a positive mindset.


View to Heimaey from the volcano Eldfell at Westman Islands, Iceland. (Shutterstock)

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Heimir Hallgrimsson, who coaches the national soccer team of the smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup, offered this:

“Success is not a destination,” Hallgrimsson said. “The rise and fall of Icelandic football is not connected to what happens in Russia in three games. It’s a continuous journey, which is why we would like to keep the momentum and understand that it’s not just this game or the next tournament. That’s the only way you can think when you’re an underdog.”

Read about his start in dentistry, and how his dental chairside interactions prepared him for coaching: