Super Bowl Lessons for Us All

Super Bowl Lessons for Us All

What lessons can and should we learn from the two-week build up for the Super Bowl?super bowl 2

I can think of a few Super Bowl lessons and I’m sure others can add some things too.  This of course comes up each year at the Super Bowl and for the most part it is the same each year. There are I think some important lessons and choices we can all understand.


 Super Bowl Lessons from the build up

  • With lots of time on their hands at least one person is going to brag about themselves.  This years biggest bragger is Randy Moss.
  • super bowl lessonsNow if you have read some of my posts I encourage athletes to brag in my office.   Sometimes it is important to say good things about yourself. We do not however do it in front of millions to draw attention to self.  Randy Moss is a great receiver. One of the best. No need to say he is better than Jerry Rice other than to hear his own voice. (more…)
TAGFEE in Sports

TAGFEE in Sports

TAGFEE in SportsTAGFEE in sports

TAGFEE in Sports. I have written about core values before here. I think they are very important to teams, individuals and businesses. Normally I apply things we have learned from elite athletes and sports teams to the people I help in the business world. I do a good bit of team building and teaching corporate entities the value of working more like a sports team then a business unit. I’d like to take some time today and reverse this stratagem. It is not that when I work with sports teams I do not use the things I have learned from being in the business world to help them be efficient, I do, but this is something I want to incorporate more. It is not that these ideas are revolutionary to either the business world or to the sports world. I just happen to like the way that this is laid out in I think a very useful way. To be sure for some teams this will be very alien in nature. If this make your club, team uncomfortable that may be good. If you are the owner, GM or coach just consider how this could make a difference. Maybe there are a few things, if not all you could incorporate. I just want you to consider them for now and we can discuss implementation at a later time.

This idea blossomed in my mind after a meeting I had with Founding President Emeritus of a hi-tech company called SeoMoz, Gillian Muessig.  She and her son Rand Fishkin developed this model and Rand has been the chief orator on what they call TAGFEE. I thought what I would do was briefly describe TAGFEE and then apply it to a sports team rather than to a business unit. You can read much more about TAGFEE on SeoMoz.

TAGFEE represents the following. Transparency, Authenticity, Generosity, Fun, Empathy and Exceptionalism. Now if you are a Team Owner, GM or Coach you are thinking this is what we do. We may talk about them differently, but basically this is how we roll. I’ve been involved all of my life in sports. It is not how we roll. For a decade working with my own teams I have been asking players to look at some core values for our teams. While I think I looked at a lot of areas that may have included these themes, I assure you not everything here is covered. I suggest that most teams fail to understand how important having this type of core value is to the running of their organization.

Let’s look closer at what this all means. (more…)

Mental Toughness from Obama to Coughlin and the NY Giants Super Bowl Champs

Mental Toughness from Obama to Coughlin and the NY Giants Super Bowl Champs

Mental Toughness was in the news again today when Tom Coughlin (Super Bowl Champion Coach) at the NY Football Giants Victory Parade said he spoke with President Obama, who praised the team for its mental toughness and its resiliency and said “to remember that all things are possible for those who believe.

Depending on how you want to look at it (from actual research) there are 3, 7 or 12 markers that describe mental toughness. Most people when they talk about Mental Toughness are referring to just a few behavioral examples. Mental Toughness begins with “PPR”- Perseverance- Persistence -Resilience

  • Perseverance: A sticking to a purpose or an aim; never giving up what one has set out to do.
  • Persistence: Not giving up, especially in the face of dislike, disapproval, or difficulties.
  • Resilience: Power of recovering quickly.

The other behavioral aspects are very important because people tend to focus on just a few of them. (more…)

The Writer and the Athlete

As very often happens in my writing, I start from a single thought without any real idea of where I am headed.  Since this is a written blog I thought I would write about writers for a change of pace.  Sometimes it works and well until now you never really knew of the multitude of un-birthed writings buried somewhere in the depths of my backup hard drive.

Writing much like competing in sports requires practice, ability, experience and drive.  The writer / athlete must be free of fear and anxiety in order to put pen to paper.  I have seen writers of every type.  The gifted and the not so gifted are all around us.  There are those that can knock out a thousand words in a small amount of time and for others it could take a week or longer.  Quality too will vary.  The quick can be brilliant or bad, because all the elements must come together as in sport.  I’ve known writers to meditate to reduce stress, and many that have used drugs and alcohol to cope with expectations of exposing the core essence of their soul, if you will, to people that will make judgments about their very being, perhaps based on a single word they don’t like in a paragraph.

Not much different from the athletes I work with.  Coping one way or another– in search of that sweet spot in time, where everything comes together.  Most do this in front of family and friends, but many, especially at the highest levels, do it in front of strangers that will rip them apart for their failures and cheer unbelievably at their accomplishments.

So together we have writer and athlete.  On common ground for many reasons, as I have mentioned.  What I see most in common though is that success is not based singly on ability or experience.  It is certainly not on their ability to cope (as much as I’d like to show) with stress, as we have a history of great writers and athletes that have dealt with these pressures through drugs, booze and let’s not leave out sex*.  (*we can’t just end with the word sex)     (more…)

The Fury- Part 2

I was talking about “The Fury”.  The drive and passion to accomplish anything in life you want.  I proposed that to some extent this force is in all of us, but that it is much closer to the surface in some and buried deeper in others.  I also said that mental skills training can help bring it out in someone.  I’ll assert for the moment that this is a given, but what I want to do is talk about why it may be hidden in some people.

I think it has to do with that while we value passion and drive in an individual, when we see it at the level of “The Fury” we tend to talk about it is less than positive terms.  A person with “The Fury” may be thought as not nice or perhaps overly aggressive.  Certainly they are driven and that drive over shadows team mates at times.  Does this make them selfish?  Perhaps it does.  These individuals are driven to succeed.  Not at any cost, but certainly with passion.  This passion is often mistaken and consequently thought of as arrogance or over confidence.  People with “The Fury” that have physical talent are stars.  If they lack some of the developmental skills of their sport they are categorized differently at times.  They may be overly aggressive and because of a lack of skill this has the appearance of violence.  A player makes their bones by being physical, making up for the lack of skill.  At some point this behavior is either rewarded or denigrated.  If the later, then”The Fury” gets pushed down below the surface and is difficult to bring forward when needed by the athlete to succeed.  If rewarded but uncontrolled, the athlete just becomes a physical player.  At any level, the athlete needs to learn to control “The Fury”, to use its power to propel them towards success.  Read more to find this competitive fire. (more…)

What Motivates Shared Peer Behavior?

In sports shared behavior is often couched in terms of superstition.  The shared traditions often begin with a unique victory or triumph.  A touchdown drive, a home run, a goal scored in soccer.  Mostly there is the opportunity for some celebratory act like a touchdown dance or the jumping into the stands.  These behaviors often start as an individual expression.  As teammates see the success another player has it is often mimicked sometimes in homage to the player that started the behavior.  We have seen these things grow and become traditions.

The Denver Broncos would salute the fans, Atlanta had the Dirty Chicken, and of course the Packers have the Lambeau Leap.  Traditions continue as long as winning and success continue or there is continuity of players.  Denver gave up the salute when John Elway and Terrell Davis retired.  The Dirty chicken disappeared after they lost in the Super Bowl.  The Lambeau Leap has remained in part because it involved the fans and players together.  The Packers have remained in contention and players want to be recognized by the fans as someone that is close to them especially within their community.

Players revere these superstitions, while at the same time denying that they are superstations.  Sport Psychology would view these traditions differently.  These traditions become celebratory routines leading to greater confidence and comfort.  For many athletes that might want to celebrate, but don’t want to be looked at individually, they can participate without concern for ridicule.  This reduces any anxiety they might have with fear of success as they are just taking part in a team tradition.  Because it becomes a tradition players are motivated to be accepted and will play harder in order to fulfill this need.

We have many such traditions and superstitions in sport.  Some are celebratory and some are simply routines that help make players comfortable or allow them to focus better.  As they achieve attention and become associated with winning they become tradition.

This was originally posted as a quest article on  Michael Toebe Behavior and Relationships blog.