Are You Ready for Some Football?

By: Kitty Ambers, CPIA, CIC, CISR, NetVU CEO | 11/14/2014

“It’s not the will to win that matters…..everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” 

This simple idea shared many years ago by longtime University of Alabama football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, is at the heart of all of football training camps and pre-season games this time of year. 

No matter which teams are your favorites, or whether you even like the game of American football at all, there are business parallels we can draw from the game as we prepare our teams to win every day. 

Come to camp in shape.  To meet the demands of grueling days of practice, you have to be mentally and physically prepared.  This takes discipline in many areas:  eating right, getting sufficient rest, working out with purpose and not just going through the motions, and studying your playbook.  In our offices, how are our players encouraged to come to camp in shape?  Do we provide guidelines that are encouraging; outline a vision that is motivating; and set expectations that are reasonable, yet challenging? 

Be a student of the game.  Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”  Constant learning and study is a huge component of preparation – in business and in life.  With football, the game changes with every play.  Seattle Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, is known for his practice philosophy that focuses on preparing each member of his team to know what should be done in every situation.  It’s this relentless commitment to learning, and being a student of the game, that wins big games – like the Super Bowl. As insurance professionals, we must invest the time to continuously be a student of our game whether that’s studying policy form changes, reviewing legislative updates that impact our clients, or implementing technological advancements that require re-training on revised procedures and workflows. 

Be coachable.  As I listened to the speeches of each of the inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, there was one constant among them. Each player acknowledged former coaches and the impact their coaches had on their lives. While going through the college football recruiting process with my son, every coach we talked with mentioned “be coachable” as a top characteristic of recruits that received offers. Successful coaches have the ability to recognize raw talent and mold that talent.  To be “molded,” a player has to be coachable. Being coachable means responding to feedback and making adjustments. In today’s fast paced, digital world, change is the only constant. We must be able to be agile to adapt and adopt. 

Abide by the team rules.  How many times have you heard that a player was released from the team for “violating team rules?”  It’s a terrible waste of talent, not to mention the investment made in the player by the team’s coaching staff and administration.  Good coaches are consistent in their approach to rules and discipline. Team members know what is expected of them. Are the rules of your firm clear and consistently enforced? 

NetVU is here to help your firm prepare to win!  Be sure to check out all that is going on by visiting I hope to see you in Columbus on September 19-20 for our dynamic PowerUsers training event!