What business lessons we can learn from watching Pro Football

Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII marked the end of football season.  Many of us spent countless hours this season – no, make that days – watching televised games, playing fantasy football, and playing dawn-to-dusk at home games (tailgate included).

I’d like to clear my own conscience by thinking of important business lessons we can learn from watching football.  We learned important lessons about life while playing sports in youth.  Watching professional football reminds us of those lessons.

Perseverance – In business and on the field, success goes to those who get back up every time they’re knocked down.  This is how we get in the playoffs.

Working under pressure – Think of the pros as they prepare to take the field for Super Bowl, and imagine the pressure they feel with millions of eyes watching.  In business, we have to be able to tackle a big presentation in front of a crowd as easily as a pro handles Super Bowl.

Teamwork – One downfall of many entrepreneurs is allowing a competitive nature to overshadow all else at the expense of co-workers.  Athletes learn that a team is at its best when members work together, focused on beating the competition rather than each other.

Winning with grace – Athletes learn on the field that winning gracefully is as important as losing gracefully.  The true pro shakes hands with each member of the opposing team, thanks them for a great game, and exits the field (or the boardroom).

Athletes have a goal-oriented attitude that we all need in order to grow.  As football season is over, I’ll look to Sochi for my next fix of inspiration.

"Show class, have pride, and display character.  If you do, winning takes care of itself."  – Paul “Bear” Bryant

"I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it." – Gayle Sayers