Lessons Learned From Football

Lessons Learned From Football dan skognes leadership consultant trainer coach motivation blogger speaker (360x211)I was speaking with a friend of mine who used to play for the Dallas Cowboys.  We were discussing the game Sunday, which was a great victory over Seattle, last year’s Superbowl Champs. 

What really frosted him were comments by different people that Tony Romo and Demarco Murray were primarily responsible for the win.  His point was that without the offensive line, neither one would be performing well.  That is very true.  And, to take it a step further…what about the kicker Dan Bailey?  They would not have won without his efforts.  He is an amazingly accurate kicker. In fact, every player was critical to the win.

It came to me as we were discussing the game that any team, whether it is an athletic team or an organizational team is dependent on EVERYONE doing their part.  The strength of a team will always be limited by its weakest link, and every team has at least one.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned from football:

  • It is never about one player on a team.  It is about a concerted effort to win.
  • It does not matter what the score is at half time.  Until the final tick of the clock, the game is not over.  Never throw in the towel as long as you can physically perform.
  • How well you did last year does not guarantee that you will repeat that level of performance this year.  It is a constant moving target because of personnel changes, and in the world of football especially, how healthy everyone is.
  • Show respect to your competition.  Disrespecting them only fuels their desire to make an example of you.
  • Identify your weak link(s) and help them get on track.  Replace them if necessary, but do everything possible to help them succeed first.  There was a reason you put them on your team to begin with, right?  Find their strengths and help them take those abilities to the next level.  Coach them, mentor them, encourage them, and push them to succeed.  The only players that can’t be salvaged are those who refuse to be helped.  You will know pretty quickly who they are if they can’t admit their mistakes or they won’t accept your help.

Jason Garrett has been cussed and discussed ever since he took over the reins as the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  I am grateful that he did not get fired for his performance over the past few seasons, but he was given time to put the pieces together to make a great team.  Great teams don’t happen overnight.  It takes time, the right personnel, and a concerted effort to excellence. It sounds simple, and it is…yet it is complex to achieve.

It still remains to be seen whether this is the year for the Cowboys to go all the way or not, but whatever happens I am encouraged by the progress I see at all levels.  So….what lessons have YOU learned from football?


Dan Skognes

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