Now that the dust has settled on one of the craziest Super Bowls ever, we’d like to serve up a few quick thoughts on what coaches can take away from a game that is sure to be talked about for a very long time.
In case you were visiting another planet last Sunday, the New England Patriots made a dramatic interception in the final seconds to beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. To those who are second-guessing Pete Carroll's decision to pass instead of hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch, read what Russ Rose has to say in Lesson 1.
Lesson 1 - Russ Rose, Penn State women's coach
“My thoughts are the coaches and players have earned the right to be playing on the big stage and decisions, if random, are based on what the professionals know and feel. I won a lot of matches in my early years at the Final Four from the stands when I had no skin in the game. Winning is tough, and I know I don’t know more than Pete Carroll. If the play would have worked, he would have been a genius. The lesson that I liked is how the Seahawks stayed together – even in defeat.”
Lesson 2 - Terry Liskevych, Oregon State women's coach
“No matter what level you play, the outcome is never assured. The key is always in doing what you have done in practice every day. The more evenly matched the teams are – just as the Seahawks and Patriots were – the more likely it is to come down to two things: 1. Execution of the basic skills; 2. A bit of serendipity. If Russell Wilson's pass was 2-3 feet to the right; if Brady's pass was......., etc.”
Lesson 3 - John Dunning, Stanford women's coach
“One of the hardest things to accept in sports is that on any day, on any play, your opponent can make plays to beat you even if you put your best effort out there. On that particular Super Bowl play, the receiver was open, the quarterback made a great throw and the defender made a better play. Any other way to look at the moment is just a “what if” – what if they ran 3 more plays, all to Lynch and got stuffed on all three? The what ifs are endless. It takes unbelievable talent, training, preparation, luck to be in that situation. Russell Wilson is amazing. What a response! Know what you accomplished, be proud of it, suffer defeat, learn, love the people you are with and the process that got you there. Winning is everything until the next day, and then it is just something.”
Lesson 4 - Art of Coaching Volleyball staff
“Whether the stage is as big as the Super Bowl or as modest as your middle school gym, don't stew over a setback. After throwing the interception that prevented Seattle from winning back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said this: "I keep my head up. I know that I prepare. I know I play my heart out, so when you do that you can’t worry about it too much. You just have to focus on what you can do to keep everyone together mentally and spiritually and stay after it.” Those are words to live by for a coach or player, no matter the sport. When you've done everything you can to prepare for success, an unwanted outcome shouldn't steal your spirit.”