Life Lessons from Super Bowl 2015

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By Robin May

Sports Illustrated is calling it the "worst call in Super Bowl history." Yes, I am referring to the last minute decision by head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks to call a passing play rather than have the team run the ball!  If you didn’t watch the game and have no idea what I’m referring too, first let me ask, where in the world have you been? But if that's you, go ahead and click HERE to check out what happened.

Wait. Let me be clear. While I tout that I am a ‘sports chick’ the truth is I don’t get fully engaged in football (because you guys do know that there are other Cheerleading...but that's another story) unless I have a team in the game.  And for this year’s super bowl, I didn’t have a dog in the fight (But next year I will...when the Cowboys take it all the way). But for this years game, I was right in front of the TV for the entire game, and I believe there are a few life lessons we all can learn from the most watched game in super bowl history!

Lesson # 1: Never Give Up

As we neared the end of the game and the Patriots scored, I started prepping to shut down for the night. My girlfriend started gathering her family’s belongings and we’d decided that the game was over. (Maybe the fellas at my house knew something different because they didn't budge. Men.)

But to our surprise, we were wrong! What is being referred to as a ‘miracle-catch’, Jermaine Kearse (with the Seahawks) shocked us when he literally fought to the very very very end, to catch the ball when it looked out of his grasp.

The situation looked bleak but the truth is, it’s not over ‘till it’s over and then there is a chance that it’s still not over.

In the game of life, we must keep trying until we are forced off the field.(Click HERE to tweet that!)  It doesn’t matter how it may look or even what the on-lookers are saying. We must keep our head in the game and go for the win, even if the loss seems envitable.


Lesson # 2: “ You got to dance with who brung you”

The lyrics to this popular song rings true in this situation.  Again…I have not intimately followed the Seattle Seahawks season, but from what I’ve come to learn Marshawn Lynch (also known as “Beast Mode” or Mr. "I'm here so I won't get fined"  - I wanted to do an article on that but my husband shut that idea down) has had a significant impact on the success of the team.  And Marshawn is known, due to his size and strength for being able to ward off multiple defenders at a time and gain significant yards if not the touchdown.

That’s what makes it quite surprising that Coach Carroll would choose to pass the ball, instead of using his not-so-secret weapon…Beast Mode…to run the ball into the end zone!

What’s the life lesson for all of us?  Actually there are 2 lessons wrapped up in one.

First, I know we have been taught to “get out of the box”, to be creative, to keep ‘em guessing when it comes to making strides in our life.  But sometimes (actually…many times) we need to remember what got us to where we are in the first place.   During my football research (i.e talking with my football savvy girlfriend and chatting with my husband), I found out that the Seahawks are ranked in the top 5 for leading the NFL in rushing yards!  But yet they chose to pass the ball instead of using what more than likely secured their spot in the Super bowl in the first place?

If your ability to negotiate has opened doors for you in the past, don’t neglect that skill while seeking opportunities in the future.  If your willingness to go above and beyond has created strong loyalty with your  customers,  don’t skip over that strength when trying to grow your business.  Remember who (or what) got you to the party in the first place.

Part two in this one lesson is that we must remember the popular saying:  ‘work smarter, not harder’.  Working smarter is learning to effectively use the resources at your disposal.  Seattle had just what they needed to more than likely seal the deal for themselves, but instead they neglected to use the resource.  Think through your own life.  What resources are you neglecting that are right in front of you?  Using what you already have is a great way to get the ‘win’ in your own life.


Lesson # 3:  Your personal outcome is impacted by those on your team

Anyone who is connected to the work I do will hear me say “Get Off of Isolation Island”! Despite the mindset that many hold that says  “I can do it on my own…” the truth is you can’t. Anyone who has achieved any level of success (be it personally or professionally) will tell you that they needed a team of people to help them reach their goals.

But we should not randomly, casually or haphazardly choose whose on our team, because our team will have an impact on whether we win or lose. (Another good one to tweet! Click HERE).

As not just a member of the team but the head of the team, Coach Carrol’s split second decision has impacted the entire team from here on out.

Remember we discussed the miraculous catch by one of the players for Seattle? That should be the highlight and topic of conversation post Super Bowl. But instead, we are discussing what another member  of the team (in this case, the coach) did.

This is a hard pill to swallow…but it is the truth.  The people you choose to connect with personally have an indelible impact on your life.  The people you choose to do business with have a direct impact on your work.  That is why you must choose your team wisely.  Because win or lose, you are all in it together.


Lesson # 4: Take ownership of the decision, learn from it, and then get ready for the next opportunity  

I don’t know much about the Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks.  So I can’t speak to what type of coach he is overall (and my husband grew tired of all of my questions).   But I can only imagine that he is somewhere right now reliving his decision to have his team throw the ball instead of run it, over and over again.

While I am sure if given the opportunity, he would make a different decision, he will never get that particular opportunity again.  So what can he do? What can any of us do once we realize we’ve made a huge mistake?

We must first take ownership of the decision.  We shouldn’t deflect…we shouldn’t put it on anyone else. If we made the call, we need to own the call.

Maybe you decided to give up on an opportunity that in hindsight would have been a career changer. Own it.

Maybe you invested in something that turned out to be a poor decision. Own it.

Maybe you ended a relationship before really giving it a chance.  Own it.

We must take ownership of every decision we make…be it a good or not so good decision.

Once you own the decision, you must learn from it.  What could you do differently next time? While we might not end up in the exact situation, more than likely we will be face the same lesson again. So ask yourself what principle do you need to learn in order to make a better decision in the future?

And then lastly, get ready for the next opportunity! You can redeem yourself. You can be victorious in the future. But you have to prepare and participate in the next game, even if it’s not until next season. Don’t allow this setback to have the last say. Come back stronger and wiser and ready to win.


I want to hear from you!  Which of the 4 lessons resonates most with you? What lessons did I miss? What else can we learn from Super Bowl XLIX? Share this blog or follow us and let me know your thoughts!

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