Saturday, February 04, 2017

Super Bowl LI Match-up: The Tale of Two Mindsets

Let's take a look at some factors that may influence the outcome of Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

The Franchise Systems
  • Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and current owner of the Atlanta Falcons has a long history of success as a businessman, and has a set of leadership principles that he follows closely.   
Advantage:  New England Patriots

Super Bowl Experience
  • This is Bill Belichick's seventh Super Bowl appearance with Tom Brady as his starting quarterback. They have won four of the six Super Bowls they have participated in.  Brady was voted MVP for Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XLIX.
  • This is the second appearance in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons since their were founded in 1966.  It is their first Super Bowl since the 1998 season.  Dan Quinn has been an assistant coach for Seattle Seahawks during their Super Bowl appearances.  He knows what it is like, but he has not been head coach there.  
Advantage:  New England Patriots

Mental Conditioning, Team Training and Team Building
  • In the off-season, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and director of sports medicine and performance Marty Lauzon had a four day team-building session with seven veteran Navy SEALs of Acumen Performance Group.  
  • Falcon head coach Dan Quinn spent several years with the Seattle Seahawks and their head coach Pete Carroll.  The Seahawks embrace the use of mental conditioning and employ various high-profile mental conditioning coaches, including Michael Gervais and George Mumford (Michael Jordan's meditation ) guru.
  • Bill Belichick is a master of getting his teams prepared for playoff and Super Bowl games.  He understands the mental aspect of the game as well as anyone.   
Advantage:  Atlanta Falcons

  • For the past 3 years. Tom Brady uses the BrainHQ training program developed by Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science.  A cognitive enhancement tool and brain training program, Brady had it installed at his TB12 Sports Center.  BrainHQ has 29 brain exercises that are done on a computer screen. One example of an exercise that Brady uses is called “Double Decision.”

  • Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback uses a device called NeuroTracker that he says has helped him sharpen his cognitive skills, providing an edge when he targets receivers or chooses plays. The focus has helped fuel an MVP-caliber season.  Ryan uses the 3D glasses at least three times a week to improve peripheral vision.
Advantage:  None

  • The New England Patriots won the last Super Bowl in which they participated two years ago.
  • The Atlanta Falcons have never won the Super Bowl.  This year they have embraced "The Brotherhood" as their rallying cry.  
Advantage:  Atlanta Falcons

  • New England has been distracted by the focus the media and the public has placed on Tom Brady's alleged support of Donald Trump; the injury to star tight-end Rob Gronkowski, and the long-standing Deflategate controversy.
  • The Atlanta Falcons are slight underdogs in Las Vegas.  This may take any pressure off of them.  
Advantage:  Atlanta Falcons

Overall Advantage:  Atlanta Falcons

What is your prediction?  

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