Lessons from Atlanta Falcons…..

I have gotten to do a ton of amazing things in life but there are very few that compare to the fun I have had doing pre-game chapels for the Atlanta Falcons!  I know that I am there to speak but as a life-long fan, it is a blast to be up close & personal with these incredible guys!  Getting to take my son Casey, who is 16, and have him see some of the greatest athletes in the world be in bible study (20+)the night before a huge game is a huge statement about the importance of faith in these guys lives!  This is my third time with the team – here are some lessons I have learned about these guys that we all need to know for our organizations……

  • Focus – these guys are focused on a task and though they laugh and get along – they are there to do a job and nothing deters them from WHY they are there
  • Intensity – even while sitting in bible study – you can see many of them take their faith seriously and are intense about their passions
  • Chemistry – I can’t begin to describe the chemistry you feel when you walk in the hotel and see them as they prepare for the next day’s game.  They like each other…..I am sure not every relationship is perfect but they really “like” each other and enjoy being around each other
  • Respect – No one considers themselves better than another guy.  They are kind to the host at the hotel and to guys on the team that may not be the stars or even known by the public.  That respect I believe feeds the chemistry!
  • Personality – There is no doubt that the team has taken on the personality of Coach Smith.  He is super INTENSE & FOCUSED on the task but his respect for other players & coaches fuels the chemistry that the team has!
  • Play to WIN – they have no intention of losing….no matter where they are at in the game – they plan on getting the ball and winning the game.  You feel it when you speak to them and when you hear them talking.  They are there to do one thing and that is WIN and give their very best every play, every quarter, every game!  I remember many years you could tell these guys were playing not to mess up but those days are over!

As a dad & a guy who is always doing something with sports….these guys make me proud!  They are so kind to me & my son and truly make us feel welcome and a part of what is going on!  Thanks to the team chaplain, James Trapp, for his investment day in & day out into their lives and for inviting me to be a part and have this unforgettable experience!



  1. Mike,

    This is a great post. It is nice to get an insider’s view as to why the Falcons have become a model franchise.

    Thanks for the learnings that we all can apply. Quick question – can I use this as a guest blog on my site.

    Brian Dodd

  2. I heard yesterday that during the off season, Matt Ryan chose several top quarterbacks and studied them to discover what separated them out. It would be easy, once you’re playing at Ryan’s level, to get smug and say, “I’ve arrived. It’s time for lesser quarterbacks to study me.” But, no, he stays humble, keeps learning, and studies opposing teams relentlessly from week to week.

    He’s a great example of Solomon’s admonition:

    “A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
    And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.”

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