5 Life Lessons We Can Learn from the Patriots
Last Sunday saw the greatest comeback in the history of the Super Bowl final. The New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime to claim their fifth title. Many thought the Atlanta Falcons had a better side. They had the better players. They even had the better quarterback. With just nine minutes left in the game, Matt Ryan had posted two touchdowns, completed 13 of 16 attempted passes for 202 yards and had no interceptions. At one point he was the likely winner of the Most Valuable Player award in the Super Bowl. The Falcons had everything going for them. Although, they had missed a field goal but still held a 28-12 lead over the New England Patriots.
The Falcons however choked like no team ever has before in the history of the NFL. In a game as significant and major as the super bowl, no team has lost after having attained a lead of over 10 points. Perhaps they succumbed to the pressures that a game of this stature brings along. The New England Patriots on the other hand maintained their cool as they always have in the most trying of circumstances. Down 28-3 with only three minutes remaining in the third quarter and 28-12 with only 6 minutes left in the game, the Patriots rose to the occasion in the most splendid fashion, leaving the spectators stunned to say the least.
With their determined attitude and focus, they proved that anything is possible if one has faith and self-confidence. They turned things around in the most dramatic of situations.
The exceptional leadership qualities of Coach Bill Bilichick and the magnificent performance of the players is indeed admirable. Here are the five life lessons we can learn from the Patriots.
Lesson 1: Never Stop Trying
Quarterback Tom Brady was not able to perform well in the first half of the Super Bowl LI final. He threw a pass that was intercepted and was sacked unceremoniously. Brady tried a lot of passes that did not make it. But that did not stop him from trying again. He did not take his struggling phase as a failure rather gained motivation and will power to make an impressive comeback in the game.
Had he given up early on and accepted defeat, he would not have been able to lead the Patriots to the historic comeback win on Sunday. We all face struggles and at times feel let down. But if we don’t get up we will never be able to realize our full potential and miss out on a lot that we are capable of as individuals. In the words of Wayne Gretzky “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Making mistakes is human, but it is important to learn from them. Self-belief and self-discipline is what champions are made of as aptly put by Franz Beckenbauer “The strong one doesn’t win; the one that wins is strong.”
Lesson 2: It’s Not ‘Just Luck’
The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft said “Getting ready for the Super Bowl is a lot like studying for the Talmud, as both require intense effort and concentration.”
If you think success and victory are just a matter of luck then you’re mistaken. It requires a great amount of hard work and preparation to go out there and make things happen. The nine-time Olympic swimming champion Mark Spitz said “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” When you put in your efforts and time in a task or a mission, depend on yourself only and luck will follow. The PGA professional golfer puts it in these words: “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” In a recent interview Robert Kraft who was ecstatic at his team’s phenomenal performance emphasized on their preparation and hard work as the reason for the Patriots’ win. He said “It’s not just simplistic, it’s deep. We prepare as a team very well, we practice hard.”
Lesson 3: Embrace Change
One phrase often directed to the Patriots by coach Bill Belichick is ‘Do your job.” It serves as a constant reminder to the players that they need to do what they are on the field for and do it in the best way possible. So one should always complete his or her tasks in time and perform to the best of one’s abilities. While working as part of team you need to have trust and confidence in your team members in order to produce fruitful results. Collective goals and mutual trust is the only way a team can achieve success. The Patriots have what it takes to overcome all odds. And the reason for that is their ability to mould themselves according to the changes and to modify their strategies based on them. Change is the only constant in life. And the sooner you accept it, the better it is for you and those surrounding you.
Lesson 4: Set Examples and push the limits
Former Patriots Receiver Chad Johnson recalls his first day with the team back in 2011, when coach Belichick started off the meeting with severe criticism of Patriots’ starting quarterback, Tom Brady, the future Hall of Famer and now four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. He blamed his performance for the team’s exit from the playoffs. The point here is that when you push your top player to perform better, you are setting an example for the rest of the team to follow. They don’t have to be as good as that top performer. They should strive for better. Belichick believes that to be a championship side you should want to be champions in every area, be it the starting quarterback, the medical staff, your area scouts or your strength coach. He said that the team should aim to achieve a championship level performance in each area. Even in the business world, you need to show that even your best employees have room for improvement. This makes it clear to the members of the organization that the bar is set high and they need to invest in greater efforts to yield greater outcomes. This approach also keeps the employees from becoming complacent.
Lesson 5: ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over’
The famous quote by the former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra ‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’ sums up the Super Bowl in the finest way. With the way the game was going, it seemed unlikely for the Patriots to emerge victorious. But while the game is still on, there is still hope and things to be done. And the Patriots proved that even if you have the slightest chance, you can make an improbability a possibility. For those who are facing moments of hopelessness and despair, what happened at the NRG Stadium last Sunday should serve as an inspiration. Nothing is impossible in life if one has the ability to strive till the last moment and not lose heart midway.