Momentum Makers: 5 Things the Patriots Can Teach Us About Comebacks
Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend Super Bowl LI. It was my first time to watch a Super Bowl game in person. In all my years of coaching and being involved in sporting events, I cannot ever recall experiencing such a vast swing of emotions as I did watching the game that day. The Atlanta Falcons had a commanding lead of 28-9 going into the 4th quarter. Patriot fans were hopeless, quiet, and despondent for three quarters. According to history, there was no way the Patriots should have won. Of course we all know the story now… one of the greatest, if not the greatest, comebacks in NFL history is in the books. Tom Brady and his teammates magically orchestrated an amazing comeback to win Super Bowl LI outscoring the Falcons 34-28. After watching the game and reflecting on it for several days afterward, one of the greatest things I took away from the game was this: If we want to win in business or life, we have got to create momentum.
Brady and the Patriots gained and sustained the momentum in the 4th quarter and rode it into overtime for the historic comeback win. By harnessing the power of momentum, they were able to do the impossible and come from behind to defeat the Falcons. It’s no different for you and I. We may never play for an NFL team or orchestrate a “come-from-behind” win, but you can definitely take a lesson from Brady and learn how build momentum. I encourage you to consider these five momentum makers to create your comeback:
5 Momentum Makers:
Start small – Some of the most powerful forces in nature start out small and build. Small snowballs have the capacity to turn into an unstoppable avalanche. Calm ocean water can turn into large a tsunami because of an earthquake. Uncontainable forest fires are ignited with a small spark. Tom Brady and the Patriots started small in the 4th quarter with a field goal that built up into a record-breaking performance to come from behind and win the game. It’s no different for you. If you want to win in business and life, start with small wins and build on them over time. Small wins have the ability to accumulate and create momentum that is very hard to stop once it gets going.
Don’t be a ball hog – Though most Patriots fans may not believe me when I say this, Tom Brady could not have won the game in the 4th quarter if he kept the ball all to himself. He knew he had share the ball and get it to the talent around him if they wanted a chance to win. To build momentum, you will not be able to do it alone. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. Make sure you have a team of key, go-to players around you to help you sustain success. If you don’t, you will not be able to keep it very long if at all. Don’t be afraid to share the spot light and give the ball to others. Your comeback is counting on it!
Don’t quit mentality – When things go wrong and they don’t turn out like you think they should, just keep working and don’t quit. Adjust your mentality. You never know when the tide will turn. The Patriots could have easily given up, ran the ball in the 4th quarter watched the clock dwindle down and went home with a loss. They didn’t though. Having a ‘never give up’ mentality kept them in the game. They kept playing and believed they could win. When you get behind in life and in business, refuse to lose. Don’t back down. Dig in both heels. Stay stirred up and don’t quit. It paid off for them and it will for you too.
Prepare like a champion – Champions go to great lengths in their preparation. Amazing moments in life and sports are always preceded by detailed, thorough preparation. The Patriots had practiced, watched film, and were ready for the 4th quarter. They didn’t just wing it. They had won previous Super Bowl games before and knew what level of preparation was needed to win the game. When you take time to prepare, you are able to stay focused on the game plan when you get behind. Don’t panic. Don’t hit the eject button. You stick to and work your plan. You lean on the preparation you have put in. If you have prepared properly, it will show. If you have not it will show as well.
Keep it moving – Momentum is much easier to maintain than it is to regain. The Falcons could have easily won if they did one thing: maintain momentum. They had it for three quarters and lost it. Once they started losing it, they couldn’t get it back. Even in overtime, winning the coin toss could have given them a chance to get it back, but they just couldn’t do it. So it is with us. If you want to win and make a comeback, you have got to find a way to maintain forward progress once you get it. Sustaining momentum takes a lot less energy than it does trying to get it back. Once you lose it, the energy and resources it may take to get it back will cost you. The key to winning teams and organizations is managing and maintaining momentum. Once you get it rolling, keep it rolling. Though you may never be Tom Brady, you can still harness the power of momentum and create your own comeback!