What has been your worst day on the job or in your sport? Clearly, Mason Crosby of the Green Bay Packers had his worst day on the field as he missed four field goals and one extra point in an eight-point loss to the Detroit Lions.
There were several experts that said Crosby should be cut after he became the first NFL kicker since 1997 to have such an awful day. After all, it’s his job and he failed not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, but five times. This type of performance is rarely seen, even at the high school level where kickers are often first learning how to be a kicker.
However, his teammates and coach reminded us that there is more to the game. They showed us how to handle adversity in a way that builds your teammates up rather than kicking them when they are down.
The head coach, Mike McCarthy, said,
He’s a proven, highly successful kicker. I still believe in him.”
His quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, said,
“I think he’s one of the greatest kickers of all time… Obviously he’s disappointed. I don’t think he expected this. We have a ton of faith in him.”
After one of the misses, Aaron Rodgers put his hand around Crosby’s shoulder and said something to him. The support from the rest of the team was evident as well. This “failure” was a powerful example of leadership and teamwork. Several players made comments that they win and lose as a team and that it is not about one player’s performance. As a sign of confidence, the team put Crosby in to try another field goal with a few seconds left in the game, and he made it! After the game, Crosby stepped up and owned his mistakes with a mindset to put it behind him and get back to the high levels of performance for which he is known.
We all don’t act the same way when we have bad days. The easiest path is to point fingers and blame those who screwed up. The hardest path is to have everyone take personal ownership for their efforts while supporting the rest of the team. There is no doubt that Crosby and the Packers will make adjustments to ensure they are better prepared to perform for the next game. But more importantly, they have put in the work to build a strong foundation of leadership and teamwork that can help them get through this low point with a positive mindset.
How we treat our teammates and focus on the next challenge with a positive attitude is the measure of a true team. Although the game ended in a loss, the team gets a win for how they showcased their leadership and teamwork skills.