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3 Super Bowl Lessons I’m Sharing with my Son

February 3rd, 2015 | 1 comment


(c) Can Stock PhotoThe final game of the NFL season didn’t disappoint him either. And what an ending, even if you have no allegiance to either team! (Cleveland fan, enough said).

Later that night I thought about what lessons I had learned watching this year’s Super Bowl and how professional sports relate to everyday life. Here are three takeaways that I will be sharing with my son. They apply to all of us, especially entrepreneurs and business leaders.

1) It’s not over until the final whistle blows. You have to play to win while there is still time on the clock. We know that all of the players who make it to the Super Bowl are top athletes and dedicated professionals. However, the Patriots played to win, even when Seattle was about to score and time was running out. New England corner back Malcolm Butler certainly stayed focused on the task at hand and intercepted the ball that lead to his team clinching the Championship with only seconds to spare.

Son, when you are down and it appears the game is over you have to stay focused.

2) Leaders take ownership of their calls. Pete Carroll made the call to throw the ball that resulted in his teams defeat and owned his decision. Why didn’t he run the ball said the armchair quarterbacks and the talking heads of the sports media. NFL fans will all have their opinion but the person who has to wear that decision forever is the leader who made it. It’s just a quick lesson in leadership from a champion coach who’s play call didn’t go as planned. Interestingly enough, on field leader and quarterback Russell Wilson also blamed himself for the interception.

Son, hindsight is 20/20. Take ownership of your unpopular calls and learn from your mistakes. Winners work hard and never quit.

3) The plays that kept me on the edge of my seat during the contest came from two rookie competitors who were playing in the Super Bowl because of their hard work ethic. Malcolm Butler was an undrafted free agent who was an invited tryoutprospect for the Patriots and considered a long shot for making the roster last spring. However, Butler showed up, worked hard every practice and earned himself a position on the winning team.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews was undrafted out of college, failed to keep a position with the Cleveland Browns in 2011, and even played as short stint in the Canadian Football League before ending up selling shoes at Footlocker. Matthews joined the Seahawks toward the end of the season and hadn’t made a NFL catch before the Super Bowl. However, Matthews worked hard and prepared himself every day at practice. Chris caught a 44-yard pass that led to an 11-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. His never give up attitude helped him overcome major obstacles that lead to him playing for a Super Bowl Championship in front of America’s largest audience.

Son, never doubt your ability.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders have to be resilient and adaptable. So do 1 year olds that are exploring their new world and learning to walk. Thank you Super Bowl for entertaining me far from home and providing real life lessons for me to pass along to my son when he understands the ‘game’ some day.

Invest well,

John Carney

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