NFL players and coaches share their secrets for success

Find out how NFL players, coaches, and Clubs tackle each game, every season, and their careers with an eye towards winning. From technology to strategy to superstitions, what are their secrets for success?

What does it take to win on game day? As an NFL player or coach, how can you build a routine that leads to longevity? And how does the game—and the technology around it—continue to evolve?

These questions build the foundation of a winning NFL team. And while they might seem like an enigma to fans, there are countless hours of meticulous preparation, strategy, and high-tech analysis that go into the secret sauce.

Kathryn Tappen of NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football sits down with Tee Martin (wide receivers coach for the Ravens) to take fans behind-the-scenes of a typical NFL game week for his team—from building practice schedules to creating game day strategies that pay off all the way to the final scrimmage.

Kathryn also chats with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens) and learns more about how he stays on schedule, strategizes for each play, and prepares for practice as a leader on the team—all while building in essential rest and recuperation time.

Where luck meets preparation

Of course, preparation is king in the NFL when it comes to making the playoffs. But professional athletes are also known for their game-day superstitions, from the socks they wear to the way they lace their shoes to the simple gestures they repeat. For NFL players, coaches, and teams—who are often on the sidelines holding Surface devices during critical plays—this means having superstitions around their technology, too.

These superstitions last throughout the season—and even beyond. After all, who knows what’s in the power of a touch, a swipe, or a click to help score that winning touchdown?

Surface on the sidelines

With more than 2,000 Surface devices in the hands of coaches and players, powering 335 NFL games in a year, the Surface has become ubiquitous on the sidelines.

The NFL collaborated closely with Microsoft—consulting with coaches and players—to develop its Surface Sideline Viewing System (SVS). SVS provides insights to improve game-time performance and coaching, helping players adjust their tactics in near real time . That’s why NFL Clubs now rely on that technology to better analyze opponents’ game plans, review plays and formations from multiple angles, and add speed to strategizing that’s essential both on and off the field.

An ever-adapting NFL

When the 2020-21 season went virtual, the NFL tapped Microsoft technology to adapt—and thrive. Surface and Teams rose to the occasion as the go-to technology for broadcasters and virtual fan experiences.

Now, with stadiums filled again this season, the NFL is using a robust set of tools to fuel better prep, better play, and more passionate fans than ever.

Beyond SVS, the Microsoft Surface Instant Replay (MSIR) allows officials to review replays directly on the field , improving the overall pace of play and minimizing disruptions for fans. And through Windows for Surface, the NFL and NFL Clubs have introduced a host of innovations—from managing digital playbooks and reviewing game footage anywhere, to real-time collaboration between the coaches’ booth and sideline, to new insights that guide training, physical conditioning, and recovery so players are at their peak performance on game day and all season long.

This year, as part of Microsoft and the NFL’s longstanding partnership, they’re continuing to work together to make the game better and more vital—week by week and play by play.

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