We are two days away from the biggest game in football, and as a former athlete, I’m not sure I can wait that long. I love everything about the Super Bowl: getting together with my close friends, the food, the high-energy, the friendly competition between me and my friends who are rooting for the wrong team, and did I mention the food? The Super Bowl is a huge deal for us as fans, but when I let myself think about what it means for the players, it is monumental. The days leading up to this game must be a roller coaster of emotions for everyone involved, and I can’t keep from thinking about the dynamics that played a role in getting both the Patriots and the Rams to this point in their careers.
A Focus On Daily Excellence
I wonder if Tom Brady or Todd Gurly started this season with the mindset of getting to the Super Bow? I wonder if every day they woke up and pictured how that Super Bowl ring would look on their hand? I like to think that while the Super Bowl was always the end goal, that every day, every player on that team woke up with a commitment to daily excellence. When I played basketbal I knew that every decision, every play, every practice would get me one step closer to the championship. But when I focused on the grandeur of the playoffs, I often felt overwhelmed. Instead, I would focus on being the best player I could each day. I never lost sight of the “end goal” as I’m sure players in Sunday’s game haven’t either, but I like to think that the reason they get to enter the arena on Sunday instead of the 30 other NFL teams is that they woke up every day with a focus on daily excellence.
A Focus On Team Chemistry
I would kill to be a fly on a wall in the Patriot’s or Rams’ locker room (okay that sounds creepy, but you know what I mean.) I would love to see the way those players interact with each other, the way they motivate and push and inspire each other. You can see glimpses of their chemistry on the field; the way they can anticipate each other’s moves or communicate without saying a word. The chemistry between these players is what allows them to perform so well on the field, and what has allowed them to make it this far. The chemistry of the players and their coaches is another dynamic that I feel sets Super Bowl champs apart from the rest of the NFL. In sports, and in life, the relationships you have with other people is what will push you to the next level or keep you where you are. The way you communicate with those around you, the way you see the strengths in others as a benefit, not a threat, is the difference. The chemistry on any team or relationship plays a significant impact on whether they fail or succeed.
A Focus On Mental Toughness
There’s no doubt that these players are the definition of beast mode. They are strong and powerful and fast and talented and can run full force into each other and get back up as nothing happened. But this is common across all NFL teams; players would not be playing for the NFL if they were not athletic. But it is the athletes that focus on mental toughness and mindset that make it to the Super Bowl. It is the players who can block out the sounds of the crowds or the taunts of the opponents and focus in on what is required of them in that moment. It is something I’m not always great at, but constantly work to improve. Those who can block out the haters and the distractions, the ones that maintain a clear mental picture of what needs to be done, are the ones that score touchdowns and 50-yard field goals and impossible catches that leave us all on the edge of our seats. Regardless of who you want to win on Sunday, you have to admit, these players have earned their spot here not only because they can throw and catch and run, but because of their commitment to a winner’s mindset.
Everyone has a “Super Bowl” moment in their future. There is some big event that right now seems overwhelming and maybe even impossible for you and your business. But it is there, and it will happen for you, as long as you don’t get distracted. There will be a time when you look around, and the one thing you’ve dreamed of for your business is happening around you. But it won’t happen by accident. The Patriots and the Rams did not get to the Superbowl on accident. It takes focus, teamwork and a winner’s mindset to make it happen.
What are you doing on a daily basis to train for that Super Bowl moment? What resources and tools do you have access to that can help you train for it?
If you need me on Sunday, I’ll be eating chicken wings and rocking my jersey and admiring the hard work and commitment of some of the best athletes in our country. Did I mention eating chicken wings?