Rousing Your Staff To Super Bowl Performance Levels
Inspire their efforts to crush those must-win projects and tasks.
The make-or-break event’s coming fast. Could be a pivotal product launch, major recruiting campaign, or urgent business pitch. Everyone is sweating bullets: failure isn’t an option.
Super Bowl coaches eat this kind of pressure for breakfast. So do our very own Grey Cup football honchos, who also know how to rally teams to victory. They’ve faced the all-or-nothing challenges. Take their all-Canadian advice on prepping your own staff for the big one.
Marc Trestman: Head coach, Toronto Argonauts (winners of 2017 Grey Cup)
The Argos bested Calgary’s Stampeders in a classic nail-biter. 53 seconds left on the clock, a field goal sealed the deal. The final score was 27–24.
Head coach Marc Trestman had been there before. Not many years prior, he led the Montreal Alouettes to two Grey Cup championships. This guy knows a thing or two about grace under pressure, so listen up.
On Building A Cooperative Culture:
Trestman says building team cohesion takes time. “What we’re trying to do here is get to know each other a little better: Coaches and players, players and coaches, players and players, coaches and coaches…That’s No. 1.”
On Mutual Respect:
“We just say, ‘What is…what is the kind of lifestyle that we want to have? It’s about how we want to treat people and how we want to interact on a daily basis. It’s not about rules or a regimentation.”
On Tuning Out Distractions:
“We’ve got a job to do,” notes Trestman. “We know that we’re outside our normal itineraries, and our way of doing business on a weekly basis, because of the distractions that we have.”
Focus is key. “We’ve got to remind ourselves every day why we’re here, and that’s to play for three hours plus on Sunday night. Everything centers around that.” You have to concentrate on “…the things that are going to help you win the game. Be at your best for the game.”
Argo Players Commenting on Their Coach
To command respect, you’ve got to earn it. Trestman has built a rep for hard work and high standards. “You look at it as a player and know ‘OK, I’ve got to show up with my A game’,” says veteran defensive end Shawn Lemon.
Setting clear expectations and giving feedback is another of Trestman’s hallmarks. “He’s a very detailed guy – ‘this is your job’,” said Lemon. “He wants you to do your job, he’s going to hold you accountable for that.”
Llevi Noel, a sophomore receiver, says he welcomes that motivating attitude. “It’s exactly what we needed right now,” he confirms. “When you have people coming in that won’t take bull____ and if you knuckle down and get the job done, you kind of pick up that attitude as well. That kind of commitment is contagious. “If everyone adopts that attitude and that culture, it creates a winning attitude throughout the team.”
Dave Dickenson: Head coach, Calgary Stampeders (2017 Grey Cup challengers)
Getting your team to the Grey Cup two years running, then losing heartbreakingly both times, would smash the soul of a mortal. Not former CFL quarterback Dickenson, whose team scored the most points (and allowed the fewest) during the regular season. For him, the decisive game hinges on self-care and discipline.
On Establishing Order:
“The message to the guys is, ‘Do what you normally do. Take care of your bodies. It’s a different week, but I really feel that football people are a ‘routine’ type of people and we like schedules,” he says.
Putting the big event ahead of all else is priority one: “Football first. I have been on record saying ‘Let’s try to be a little bit selfish.’ You’ve got family, friends, and fans here. You’ll have time to go out for dinner and drinks with them later on.”