Super Bowl 49 Lessons: Preparing the Next Generation
By Jim Lundy
Super Bowls come and go, and many don’t leave lasting memories. Super Bowl 49, the one in which the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks, is not one many will soon forget. The reason was an unlikely hero, which is how most will look upon that game.
There is a lesson that can be taken away from this game and it is this simple fact: Everyone—even a first-year player—needs to be prepared.
Malcolm Butler: The Rookie That Saved the Patriots
Many will look at that play, in which Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler jumped the Pick Pass Play and made the interception, as luck. It was far from that.
Malcolm Butler was prepared for that play. He’s watched old game film; he’s probably watched that play on film many times before. The fact that Butler was on the field at all means that he is very talented, but even still, he was highly prepared, more than his opponents. The Patriots coaches put a fully prepared player onto the field that night.
Of course, from a play-calling perspective, it was a greedy, over-confident call from Seattle. That play had been a successful one for them in the past; why not now? Yet they never anticipated that a rookie would have been ready for it.
Preparation and Lessons Learned for Your Enterprise
Having coached youth soccer for over ten years, I see some clear lessons from the end of Super Bowl 49. The biggest is this: How are you preparing your team to compete? This is particularly important for the new people joining your firm. Are you training them? Are you teaching them and mentoring them about all the business plays they need to understand and be prepared for?
The best managers at the best companies are doing just that. Sometimes the little things end up making a big difference.
Going Forward Into 2015
As we enter 2015 with another Super Bowl under our belt, think about the preparation of your team. The Patriots won the game with help from one of their youngest players. 95 out of 100 times, that pass would not be intercepted.
However, one could argue that it was the Patriots coaching staff who spent meticulous time preparing this player for game situations like this. Preparation ended up being the difference between winning and losing in Super Bowl 49.