In a once-in-a-lifetime storm, parts of Buffalo, New York received seven feet of snow on November 20-21, 2014, shutting down parts of the city – including the Buffalo Bills.
The NFL football team was unable to practice and even unable to play their Nov 23 game, postponing the contest against the Jets by a day and moving it to Detroit, Michigan.
The result? Buffalo routed the Jets 38-3.
How could this be? The NFL pre-game week is a highly scripted sequence of planning and rehearsals, honed by decades of experience to maximize preparation for the weekly game. The Bills’ pre-game schedule was totally disrupted by the storm.
It turns out that the Bills coaching staff found a way to change a severe challenge into opportunity by sending game prep videos to the players. The result? According to Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemco:
“Their inability to practice, which was supposed to have been a hindrance, actually seemed to work in the Bills’ favor. So isolated were individual players from all distractions that they were able to focus entirely on game-plan presentations uploaded to their tablets by the coaching staff back in Orchard Park.”
This experiment in the power of video, forced by Mother Nature, provides a valuable lesson for companies that have their own extended and sometimes isolated teams.
If NFL athletes can gain the upper hand over their competitors and play better as a team by replacing physical drills with video, imagine what can happen in your global corporate environment.