Coaching Tips You Can Use At Work: SuperBowl 50 edition

How do championship coaches engage players for maximum performance? Let’s find out, and add to WeSpire’s employee-engagement playbook!

If you don’t have any plans for Sunday, suggest you think again. Everyone you know and love will be among the 120 million fans watching Super Bowl 50, which is incidentally the first-ever net-positive football classic, held at the “fantastically green” Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Inspired by this marvelous vision, and devoted football fans, we decided to gather top championship coaching advice for you. After all, professional athletes are employees, too.

North Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera

The best team has a great sense of family.
The best family has a great culture.
Within that culture there is tremendous character.

— Rivera’s mantra, repeated daily, to his team.

“Coach Rivera inspires us to be better in every part of our lives,” Quarterback Cam Newton says. Sometimes, the coach gets his inspiration from his boss, in this case, the Panthers’ owner. Even in an epic losing season, Rivera says, “I always had optimism. I always had hope.” Owner Jerry Richardson said, “Ron, don’t worry about what anybody says. Nothing is going to happen during the season. Don’t look over your shoulder. You just do your job, and at the end of the year, we’ll talk about the season and the future. I want you to concentrate on making sure that the team is getting better.”

1. Support your star performers by eliminating unproductive distractions when the pressure is on.

Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak says he learned most by taking a break and carefully watching someone else in his accustomed top spot:

“After being a head coach for so long in this league, I got to sit in the back of that room instead of being the guy up front in the meetings, and it gave me a chance to watch John Harbaugh handle situations,” Kubiak said. “You sit there and say to yourself, ‘You know I like that idea, and if I’m a head coach again, I’d probably do this the same way.’ I learned watching him each and every day.

2. Refresh your own game by observing colleagues you most admire. How do they lead?

Since WeSpire’s office is in Boston, 27 miles from Gillette Stadium, let’s get inside the mind of New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, via bestselling biographer David Halberstam.

A key strategy developed early in Belichick’s career: know your competition. The opponents’ game films are “a ticket into a secret world, in which you could find so much more than what was on the surface…. As he broke down game film he saw what others, even more experienced coaches, didn’t.”

Bill Belichick would be, Halberstam writes, “the ultimate rational man.”

3. Prepare, practice, play, win. Prepare, practice, play, win.

Too many people forget that it’s not just what happens during the game that lead to that moment, it’s all the preparation and practice that really dictates what’s going to happen within those 60 minutes of game time.

Don’t forget the same goes for your team as well. How are you preparing your team of employees for your big “60 minutes”?

What are your favorite coaching tips? What lessons have you learned playing sports, or watching them, that you can use at work? Please share with us in the Comments!