Saints Plan to Recover from Losses

Losing is a bitter pill to swallow, no matter the circumstance. And as Lou Holtz once said, “You can’t let one loss beat you twice.” So how do teams turn the page?

The New Orleans Saints have a team policy called “the 24- hour rule.”

After a close loss earlier this season, the Saints called upon their 24-hour rule that gives them time to sort through the emotions of an agonizing loss and process what happened in the game.

Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees talked about how the team moved on from the loss in order to prepare for the next game. Brees said, “We let that one go, you have to. Usually it’s a 24-hour rule. That one would have to be let go by Monday afternoon because the preparation begins on the next game.”

The 24-hour rule is like a transitional period between the last game and getting ready for the next one. The 24-hour rule recognizes that there will be some negative emotion after a loss that needs to be dealt with, but also provides a well defined starting point when preparations for the next game must begin. The 24-hour rule helps the team focus on the next step rather than staying stuck in the past.

When you enact the 24-hour rule, you will have more time to prepare for the next game with a renewed focus.

Take one day after the game finishes. If you win, you can celebrate the victory for the length of that time period.  If you lost the game, it’s understandable to feel sad or angry, but athletes need to work through those feelings because at the 24-hour and one second point, they need to focus and prepare for the next game.

Within that 24 hour period, ask your players to do a quick self-review and specifically ask them what one area of their game they could work on to improve their chances of winning the next context.

Then it’s time to work on coaching strategies. What game plan gives you the best chance to be successful for the next game?

Excerpted from the book: The Football Coach’s Game Plan for Leadership. Get over 100 more great ideas to make your team better from the greatest minds in coaching.