It seems that every year certain teams clearly make it to the finish line, while others fight their way to the top. Regardless of the path to the big game, there are a few standout features of teams that make it that are very relevant to those of us on the other side of the broadcast.
A good team learns from its mistakes:
A season is a long and tough battle through many adversarial situations both on and off the field. From injuries, to scandals, to bad calls, to tough losses, teams face tremendous obstacles on their way to victory and week in and week out, win or lose, they must reset and return to the drawing board as if the next game is the first, or the last. The ability to pause, reset, and look at what went wrong or what could go better is critical for growth and learning from the past critically shapes your future.
A good team must be able to block out the “Noise”.
Whether it’s the “12th man”, or your own irate fans, TV reporters, your teammates, or the voices in your head, in critical situations in it imperative that you can selectively block out what could otherwise be a game ending distraction. Good teams make sure that their communication is on point such that in any situation they can get the job done. In a world filled with distractions (like football) it is critical that one be able to separate the drama from life, the distractions from the goals. The ability to block out the haters and the doubts or challenges and focus on the goals and task at hand is a critical one.
A good team has a balanced attack plan:
If teams focus too much on one part of their offense over another, or one weapon over another, hey become predictable and easy to plan against. A good team that will last the season has a balanced offense that makes the most of all of their players while not leaning to heavily on one specific method. This also enables teams to rest their stars and survive injuries to make it to the post-season. In life too it is important to find a good mix of goals as well as a proper balance of work and play. If its all work and no play, you burn out. If its all play and no work, its hard to survive. With work and goals as well, spreading out the mix of what you focus on give opportunity for growth. An example of this might be a writer who takes off time to get into hiking and breaks through a writers block, or an athlete taking a dance course to enhance balance instead of focusing on just their sport.
A good team has a plan behind a plan behind a plan:
While there is a ton of amazing talent in any good football team, let alone one that is in the superbowl, no team depends on talent alone because its not always predictable or dependable. The smallest slip can derail a run, and smallest twist can end a players season. A team that wins is a team that plans for every contingency while still making use of their talents. In life it is much the same, and you always need to plan as if what you expect to happen might not. This doesn’t mean that you need to give up, stop shooting for the stars, or expect to fail. To the contrary, go in as if the sky is not the limit. Just have a safety net in place so that if the situation dictates, you can rest and rebound to the stars again.
A good team has solid long term leadership
Though many teams make it to the playoffs after making a critical change in their leadership, more often having consistent and cohesive leadership leads to more consistent success. The same is true of our own guidance. Many people jump from mentor to mentor, or job to job, seeking that “aha” moment or to get the answers that they want to hear. More often then not, taking a good look inside and a step back and trying to stick with one direction more consistently can spare you years of unrest. Of course there are times when you just need a change, and if that time has arrived, don’t hesitate, your Superbowl may be right around the corner.
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