Rebellion Group

Episode 54: Locker Room Lessons with Matt Hasselbeck

February 09, 2023 Allison Minutillo
Episode 54: Locker Room Lessons with Matt Hasselbeck
Rebellion Group
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Rebellion Group
Episode 54: Locker Room Lessons with Matt Hasselbeck
Feb 09, 2023
Allison Minutillo

It’s SuperBowl Sunday this weekend — but no, we’re not talking about commercials or the halftime show. The NFL is filled with parallels to life and leadership lessons. On this episode, Allison Minutillo interviews one of the NFL’s most seasoned quarterbacks… Matt Hasselbeck. He reflects on lessons learned under Andy Reid & Mike Holmgren, advice in amplified pressure, locker room trust, the receipt of hard feedback, learning the lingo, and how to work on you when it matters most.

Matt is an NFL Analyst on ESPN’s signature Sunday morning pregame show, Sunday NFL Countdown, and contributes to Pro Bowl and Super Bowl coverage. A three-time Pro Bowler, Hasselbeck played for the Green Bay Packers (1998-2000), Seattle Seahawks (2001-10), Tennessee Titans (2011-12) and Indianapolis Colts (2013-15) during a career that spanned nearly two decades. He threw for 36,638 yards and 212 touchdowns. In 2021, the Seahawks inducted him into their Ring of Honor. 

Show Notes Transcript

It’s SuperBowl Sunday this weekend — but no, we’re not talking about commercials or the halftime show. The NFL is filled with parallels to life and leadership lessons. On this episode, Allison Minutillo interviews one of the NFL’s most seasoned quarterbacks… Matt Hasselbeck. He reflects on lessons learned under Andy Reid & Mike Holmgren, advice in amplified pressure, locker room trust, the receipt of hard feedback, learning the lingo, and how to work on you when it matters most.

Matt is an NFL Analyst on ESPN’s signature Sunday morning pregame show, Sunday NFL Countdown, and contributes to Pro Bowl and Super Bowl coverage. A three-time Pro Bowler, Hasselbeck played for the Green Bay Packers (1998-2000), Seattle Seahawks (2001-10), Tennessee Titans (2011-12) and Indianapolis Colts (2013-15) during a career that spanned nearly two decades. He threw for 36,638 yards and 212 touchdowns. In 2021, the Seahawks inducted him into their Ring of Honor. 

Matt Hasselbeck  0:00  

Coaching quarterbacks, a lot of these gurus or quarterback whispers, they wanted to sort of be like a golf pro who you're taking golf lessons from like "alright, do this with your hips and then this with your hands and then your wrists." Dude after like a 30-60 minute golf lesson, I am now a worse golfer. Andy Reid - so I come in he's like, how can I make this digestible for my guys? How can I make this something that Brett Favre gonna lean on this wild stallion you know Gunslinger and this, you know idiot, cocky you know sixth round pick from Boston College, you know, I can coach him up at the same time. Stay low in the pocket. Great advice.

Allison Minutillo  0:40  

The Rebel Leadership Podcast, a refreshing take on authentic leadership told through real stories. Let's smash the status quo and change how leaders lead once and for all.

Allison Minutillo  0:57  

It's Super Bowl Sunday this weekend. But no, we're not talking about commercials or the halftime show. The NFL is filled with parallels to life and leadership. But today we have the absolute honor of learning directly from the experience of one of the NFL's most seasoned quarterbacks. Matt Hasselbeck. A three time pro-bowler, he has played for the Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks, the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts. His career spanned nearly two decades. He threw for 212 touchdowns and over 36,000 yards. In 2021, the Seahawks inducted him into their Ring of Honor. Matt is on ESPN's signature Sunday morning pregame show, Sunday NFL Countdown, and contributes to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl coverage. He is one of the most influential guests we have had on this podcast. So listen, reflect and embrace your next aha moment. I have to ask with the Super Bowl coming up what was Andy Reid's style of leadership like?

Matt Hasselbeck  1:56  

So Andy Reid was my quarterback coach my first year when I was at the Green Bay Packers and he had never really been a quarterback coach before but he was an amazing, amazing quarterback coach. So I came in. He's like coaching Brett Favre coming off of their two second consecutive Super Bowl. Brett's got three MVPs in a row. I like got my notebook out. I'm gonna write down every word he says. This is what Andy Reid would say "stay low in the pocket, bend your knees, stay low in the pocket." And then occasionally he'd say, people on TV are gonna say the quarterback stands tall in the pocket. That's a lie. Stay low in the pocket.

Allison Minutillo  2:30  

What did he mean by that?

Matt Hasselbeck  2:32  

Well, he means bend your knees. Get into an athletic position. If you're going to play shortstop or if you're going to play point guard - if you're going to - any sport, literally any sport, boxing would be a great one. Tennis is another good one. Stay low. Bend your knees. Get into an athletic position. If you're just standing tall like a statue like what sport would that be a good idea? Nothing I'm aware of. He felt like Brett Farve and sort of the rest of us, Doug Peterson was the backup. I was behind him. If we would just stay low, it would cure so many things and keep it simple. I went and played a bunch of years after that first year, and every single meeting I went into I would write in my notepad I would say stay low. Mike Holmgren was the head coach. He was a yeller and a screamer. Like if the ball ever touched the ground in practice, there was held to pay, quarterbacks were getting an earful. And like I remember early on, you know, I threw an incompletion to a wide receiver on air, there's no defense, and Mike Holmgren is like it's comin'. And Andy Reid like beelines me, brisk-walks right to me and he grabs me and gets in my face like real close. And he's like, alright, listen. Coach is gonna come over here and yell at you. Okay, so I'm going to act like I'm yelling at you really hard. Okay, but I'm really not upset. I see what happened there. The wide receiver took three steps instead of four steps. So he's short, that's why the ball sailed high. But I'm over here making gyrations so that he thinks that I got this. We'll see on film what really happened and we'll talk about it. And I'm like, okay, great. And then we walked away. So like it was a constructive criticism like coachable yet here's the truth. And yet it's sort of like setting everybody and then for Mike Holmgren, the head coach, he was kind of like alright, you're on it? Okay you're on it. I'm gonna worry about this. And I just appreciated it, like I just remember being scared to death to be yelled at by the head coach, this Hall Of Fame coach Mike Holmgren and Andy coming in. It's kind of like taking a bullet for me so to speak. I was like, I would do anything for this guy.

Allison Minutillo  4:35  

Isn't that interesting how those moments matter most like that sets the tone for the trust you have in him because you know he has your back. So then fast forward, he gives you hard feedback. You just see it in people with those relationships. They are craving the feedback from you and that's how you make people better.

Matt Hasselbeck  4:55  

I tell you, what's normal in the NFL. What's normal is these coaches are a little insecure that they're gonna get yelled at. So how it usually goes down is like, you do what your position coach told you to do, but it wasn't what the head coach wanted. That's why you practice like mistakes happen or whatever. The player gets reamed by the head coach - reamed - and the assistant coach when the player is done getting reamed says that was my fault. It's like Oh, wow. Thanks for whispering "hey that was my bad". That's what's normal. And so to see Andy basically throw his body in between like the coming bullets was so uncommon that it was just like, wow, like, man.

Allison Minutillo  5:44  

It's rebellious. It's a different approach. How is that built in your perspective? How did you arrive there?

Matt Hasselbeck  5:51  

When I first got traded that was with the Green Bay Packers and I got traded to the Seattle Seahawks and the head coach was Mike Holmgren. Mike Holmgren, head coach, Joe Montana Steve Young, Brett Farve, then me. We didn't know each other, but you know, I needed to sort of earn some respect. I had the training wheels. And anyway there was like a lot of miscommunication early on with exactly what you just said. For example, here we had this play 93 last. It's pretty - it's a pretty great play. But there's some problems you know, like there's some issues like if they're bringing a blitz to the weak side, it's a big problem in my mind. So he would call okay, we got green right 93 last get the first down he would say so I'm like well duh. Like obviously we're trying to get the first down. But really what he meant when he said get the first down, he meant do not audible do not change the play to a pass. Do not run a different play the other way. No matter what happens. Run this play. Joe Montana knew what got the first down men. Steve Young, Brett Favre they knew would get the first down man. I didn't speak the language. I didn't know. And it was a little bit like growing pains. My quarterback coach was new. I was new. I also was young and immature, probably didn't want to hear it. I'm like, well, whatever, like, you know, get the first set. We're only gonna get one yard if we do that. Well, it was second in one. And so like for me to be the quarterback. I needed to be an extension of the head coach on the field. And he didn't care if we were at the 35 or the 33 or the 31. What he cared about was give me first and 10. I already know what play I'm calling next on first and 10 and so he was in a rhythm as a play caller. And I was like out there worried about me and my little world and not really seeing the bigger picture.

Allison Minutillo  7:45  

How did you recognize and approach the situation when you realize you're speaking two different languages?

Matt Hasselbeck  7:52  

I learned the hard way. I got hurt and I got benched. My backup was this guy named Trent Dilfer, who was a veteran quarterback, had just won the Super Bowl at the Baltimore Ravens. He did all the things that you expect a starting quarterback to do, right? He did all those things right. They kind of put up with some of my issues because I think in their mind like I had a ton of potential to someday like to have this great, high ceiling. But Trent did everything right. He wants to talk about an extension of the head coach on the field. He was an extension of the head coach everywhere he went in the locker room, on the field, off the field, whatever. So I get benched and I'm on the bench. And I'm sitting there and I'm listening. When you're on the sidelines you can wear a little earpiece and listen in on the conversation. 

Allison Minutillo  8:39  

Oh, I didn't know that.

Matt Hasselbeck  8:40  

I'm listening to the head coach, Mike Holmgren and I'm listening to them talk to Trent Dilfer, the new starting quarterback and they're saying hey Trent green right 93 last get the first down and I see him hurry up to the line. Go on a quick count, give our offense an edge, run the play and unblocked guys are everywhere. And we're still getting the first down and I'm seeing the coaches like nice, good job and I'm over there like good job to the free safeties on the line of scrimmage. Like that's not the rule. But what I didn't really realize at the time is that there's a rule, but then there's sort of like what, what the boss is gonna put above the rules, some non negotiables. Like, what I learned was, hey, if that player was unsuccessful, it wasn't really on the quarterback. It was on the guy that said get the first down. There's a lot to worry about. It was kind of freeing, I think for Trent and then for me eventually, to say, You know what, my boss just said, get the first down. That's on him. My job now is to do what he said.

Allison Minutillo  9:44  

Was there a moment when you recognized that you had matured enough to see that because even like what you said, like, I was young, I was green, I was still thinking about myself and what I can do on the field. It almost takes a point in your life to be able to see something from a completely opposite perspective. And then it's like, oh my gosh, I missed it. 

Matt Hasselbeck  10:07  

All these things at once. Now I was hurt for a little while. And so every seven days, it was like another reminder. We play the Chiefs. I get reminded. We play the Raiders. I get reminded. Then all of a sudden the last game we're down in Dallas. Emmett Smith is about to break the rushing title. Trent Dilfer, still the starting quarterback, I'm still the backup. He's playing great, we're winning and it's all of these things. There's the first down language. There's another one that the head coach would always yell tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo, and I'm sitting over there like, what does that even mean? Like I didn't even know what it meant. And I was too arrogant to even ask. Eventually I learned what the word meant. So it was that getting back to the Dallas game until Trent Dilfer happens to tear his Achilles in that game. I'm standing over there on the sideline, chillin', don't think I'm gonna play that day. I got a baseball hat on, bubble gum in my mouth, didn't bring my mouthpiece out of the locker room. And bam, I gotta go. And immediately it was just like, I'm right back in it. And it was all those lessons that I started sort of learned in an out of body experience the hard way. Fortunately for me, like luckily I got an opportunity to go kind of like, do it the right way. I got like a second chance essentially, some guys learn the lessons and are able to humble themselves. I unfortunately got humbled. And that's how I humbled myself. I definitely took advantage of the opportunity to sort of sit back and watch many, many people don't get that opportunity

Allison Minutillo  11:50  

So fast forward to when you are the face of the franchise. Your pressure is mounting. Pressure on yourself to maintain the pressure from your team to be the calm, confident leader on the field. The pressure from your coaches to execute the plays, the pressure from fans. Fast forward to the Super Bowl year. Now you've got grandiose, amplified pressure nationally, internationally, expectations are rising. What is the most important role of the quarterback?

Matt Hasselbeck  12:22  

I mean number one, you got to execute and do your job. Everyone will say oh the quarterback has to do this and the quarterback has to do that but like really the quarterback has to be the quarterback. It's not your job to play GM. It's not your job to play head coach or D coordinator. It's not your job to worry about what other people are supposed to be worried about. And like a lot of times, looking back on my NFL career, I saw a lot of quarterbacks want to complain about this or worry about that or you know think about this other thing. And honestly, like, if I sit back I'm like you know what, man? If our quarterback, whether it's me or somebody else, threw two more touchdowns and four less interceptions this year. We're hoisting a Lombardi and nevermind, you're the quarterback. You're probably making an extra 20 to $30 million dollars. If you just fix you, if no one else on the team does anything different. Like if that guy's still mediocre and if like we don't have this and we don't have that, if you just do you better. If our quarterbacks is a little bit better, we are way better. You know, and so like I think that's probably the mindset that helped me the most.

Allison Minutillo  13:39  

And there you talked a lot about self reflection in arriving at that moment of like, I got to work on myself. What about the ones who you trusted most to give you the hard feedback? 

Matt Hasselbeck  13:51  

Well, I would say when you take that first approach, it's very contagious. It's very contagious. So when your quarterback is doing that, when your quarterback is looking in the mirror, how can I get better? It creates an atmosphere of like, no one's complaining. No one's ripping their boss. No one's complaining about the guy next to him. No one's, it's just more about how can I get better? How can I help the team? And so how that gets accomplished. You're not just critiquing yourself, you're allowing yourself to be coached. You're getting judged all the time on talk radio, TV, newspapers, online, everybody. But really what I did is I really just tried to care about the opinion of the person that mattered the most and usually that's your position coach, head coach whatever, as a quote, you know that our coach used a lot for the quarterback room it was just do everything right and the score will take care of itself. You know, like I can't affect how our defense stops the run. I can't affect how our kicker kicks his field goals. I can't affect it just has nothing to do with me. When I can affect it's how we play when we have the ball on offense, how I protect the ball, how I cut at least how prepared I am. And so whether that's a passing play or even more importantly, I took a lot of pride in our running plays, you know, our running plays, I have a role as quarterback, even in our running plays. I'm not gonna get credit for those. I'm not gonna get credit for audibling us into the right protection. I'm not gonna get credit for remiking the middle linebacker, so that everyone who's blocking has way better angles for the block. Most importantly, I'm not going to get credit for carrying out my naked bootleg fake to hold the backside linebacker like, I'm not going to get credit for that. But I'm going to take pride in that and usually it's your position coach or your boss who is hammering that down. And so like if I'm taking that posture of like sort of a beginner's mindset humility, of like, sure go ahead coach me I'm willing to work at however I can get better, you are better. Your team's better. And then it's just easier when you get all this coaching from them. It's easier to like literally not just saying it like literally not care about some stupid message board or some Twitter person or it's like me on television, who's gonna say like, oh, was your VR dipped in the month of November? Like? Who cares man, like who cares? You need to be dialed into like, what they're asking you to do. 

Allison Minutillo  16:25  

What was the hardest piece of feedback that you've ever received? 

Matt Hasselbeck  16:28  

You know, Mike Holmgren called me into his office after I'd had a really good pro bowl season and it was everything was on the up and up. And I really felt like I was in a groove. And he called me and he was like, you know you're a tremendous leader, like tremendous and you're going to be a fine quarterback. He's like, I really noticed that, you know, your leadership style is special. But here's my challenge to you. You're a great leader with the people on the team that you're friends with. He's like, I would challenge you to hit every single corner of our locker room. And think about how you can sort of be the way you are with say the offensive line. See if you can be that way with the entire team.

Allison Minutillo  17:10  

How did you translate that into action? How do you take feedback like that?

Matt Hasselbeck  17:14  

First I had to admit that it was true. Because at first, I was kind of like, what, like how dare you? You're never even in the locker room. You know, then I again, kind of came down to humility a little bit like just humbling myself and being like, alright, let's just pretend that that's 100% true. Like how would that look? And you know, I looked back and I was like, it's fair. He probably had this exact same conversation with other quarterbacks that he coached along the way. And it probably was successful advice to give to those guys. You know, maybe it was just that but like, I definitely saw it every single day differently from that moment on. And so I tried to put some things into practice that I thought were really hearing that advice and then doing something about it, like some tangible things and then some other things that were just like, after a while, I think it just became natural and it didn't and then almost feel like I had to think about it.

Allison Minutillo  18:21  

Let's talk about leading a huddle. So in the NFL, it's really interesting because you're dealing with the top echelon, you're dealing with the top 1% of the best of the best of high school, of college. Now they're there. So it's a different mix of people to lead than any other place. So how do you go about leading the best of the best when they are all coming in with their own experiences and their own right way of doing things and finding the command on and off the field?

Matt Hasselbeck  18:55  

Most everybody I ever shared a locker room with the NFL overcame serious adversity. Like I don't know what the perception is like. It's like maybe the perception is like, oh, you had it easy. You're always like the best or the most popular like no, that's just, that's not true. And you know, even if you were like maybe the best athlete, you probably had to deal with some crap to get where you are. I think that's probably the common denominator that really bound us all together. We all faced hard times and then we're going through hard times together. It's hard to get coached. It's hard to hear criticism, period, but then it's even harder to hear it in front of the room. You know, there's something in the NFL called tell the truth Monday, and basically the game happens and then you show up the next day and like you're usually dreading Mondays, because even if you played a great game, there's some play that you're super embarrassed by, or there's some play where you, I don't know, maybe you're covering a kick and you chickened out, you know, you turned down you made a business decision, as they said, like you didn't put your shoulder where you're supposed to put your shoulder because the person you're going up against outweighs you but anyways, tell the truth Monday, and you just sit there with a red laser pointer. Usually the coach is like, alright, quarterback, right here. This is terrible. Okay, you let us down. That happens again. You're gone. There's no room for this. We will replace you, okay or left guard. We said this once, that's your error. We don't put up with error repeaters around here. You make the same mistake twice. You're gone. Okay, you're done. And like that's constructed. Usually it's way meaner than that. But that's just how it is. And like, all the time, every day, every practice every day. So like I think you come together in those kinds of like, in kind of those moments and honestly it's a lot like just parenting your kids to just being in the huddle like really understanding each person, each personality. Some people do well, when you get on them a little bit. Other people, they will just shut down if you do that. And so it's like, hey, you know what, maybe it's three compliments and one constructive piece of criticism for that person. It's taken the time to really study and know your teammates and know what works best.

Allison Minutillo  21:20  

How did you manage the emotions of it all?

Matt Hasselbeck  21:22  

It's a group effort. You know, I would say maybe the thing that people don't know the center-quarterback relationship in the NFL or in football is so incredibly powerful. quarterbacks get all this credit for like, Oh, you're the leader. You're the leader like Well, here's an interesting thing that happens so there's 10 guys in the huddle the quarterback steps in and makes 11. Well, when the quarterback is not in the huddle, guys are allowed to talk. Once the quarterback steps in. Everyone has to basically shut up. Listen to the quarterback. He's got the play call. So the quarterbacks outside the huddle, getting the play from the coach in the helmet like I mentioned, hey, here we go to JEDEC stagger. Watch out CrossFit 40. But you know, whatever, gives you a little nugget. While you were gone, stuff happened, and usually it's that center taking control in that huddle. Calls the huddle "huddle - right here lines up". He's sort of the leader of that offensive line. That offensive line is the foundation for every single play that you want to run. We got all these cool fun like past plays we can do but they mean nothing if the quarterbacks on his back or if you can't block for it. So he's in the huddle. He's huge. He's the leader in that huddle. And so like that's just an example of it's a team. It's a group effort within the skill group, as they call it, wide receivers, tight ends, running backs. Usually, there's a person that has like a little bit more of a leadership role. And so like a quarterback stepping in and being like, Oh, he's leading the huddle. Listen, that huddle was being led before you even stepped into that all. Now you're an important piece and you set the tone, your energy, your emotional intelligence, like your vibe that you're given off, like you can have sort of like the aroma of something special and awesome and like fun and exciting and like this is great and like humble, yet confident. Or you can have sort of just like this bad body language and just be like an energy suck like an energy vampire for the whole huddle.

Allison Minutillo  23:19  

So what happens when you're in a game that you guys are down? You're losing, it's not looking pretty? But you know you need a win, say a playoff game. You're in the locker room. What does the team need to hear from you?

Matt Hasselbeck  23:34  

Well, that's the thing like playoff games or any game like I think the mindset needs to be the same. You know, like when I played for Pete Carroll he had you know, I grew up a Celtics fan and Pete loved the Lakers because he was a USC, Kobe Bryant and all this stuff. So he would show these Kobe Bryant videos about just sort of like mindset, championship mindset. Pete's question was like, Why do teams sometimes play down to the level of their competition? Yeah, I wonder. I'm not sure. Beat Kobe, their opinion and I now 100% agree, is like the great, the great competitors they make every single moment, every practice, every championship every time you rock paper scissors with your best friend. It's a championship moment, it's a chance to be your absolute best, no matter who the opponent is. Playoff game or no playoff game. But to answer your question about like if you're down , there's no such thing as a 14 point touchdown pass. You know, like that's something like the first time I heard that actually. I was probably 40 years old. I'm playing with Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck, the starting quarterback, just came from Stanford. And we're down a bunch in a game and he yells to the team and I'm thinking okay, what am I gonna say to Andrew? He's all young. Like, I'm gonna give these lessons like a one play at a time to everything. The right score takes care of itself, blah, blah, blah. And we get in the locker room. He's the first person to speak up and he's like, y'all, no such thing as a 14 point touchdown pass. And I'm like, yeah, that's what's the lesson? One play at a time. One step at a time. Like, here we go, laser focus on the next play, laser focus on that play, the plays over, evaporate that play from your brain - we're moving on to the next play.

Allison Minutillo  25:22  

And there's such a parallel because we set goals and you need goals at the leadership level, but you don't just wake up and achieve the goal. We talk about it in relation to a mountain, like you don't just get to the top of the mountain you have to take the steps and the one thing at a time like this builds on this success this builds on this then you have a failure, you slip, but you don't you can never. So why focus your efforts there.

Matt Hasselbeck  25:47  

Yeah, like I don't know we have candlepin bowling up here, which is like smaller balls and then there's regular balling a bigger bowl, but anyway, there's like these arrows on the bowling alley. That's like there's bowlers out there, they can correct me if I'm wrong, but like your focus doesn't necessarily have to be on the bowling pins that you're trying to knock down. Your focus is really on those arrows that are sort of like right in front of you. And if you hit the mark properly, those arrows, your focus is right there. Then you're gonna get the result that you want. 

Allison Minutillo  26:19  

You're coaching your son, who's an amazing player himself. How does this transfer to that age group?

Matt Hasselbeck  26:27  

Well, it's a different dynamic coaching your own child, I think, because you're not the coach. You're just his dad. And so like, there's been times where like, we've been driving to practice and like, I'll say like, Hey, listen, there might be a time today where like, I'm actually not even going to be that upset with you. But I might like to just get on Yeah, a little bit. There's like when you call a play in the huddle like you do this thing. So you call play in the huddle. So you call power right on one, ready, break, and everyone claps and says breaks and they jog to the line of scrimmage? Well, it's sort of the quarterback's responsibility, but like I said, before, it's everyone's responsibility. But like, I'll say, Hey, listen, if you guys don't have a good break out of the huddle, like, I'm gonna rip you guys, and I'm really gonna rip you. But just now I'm not. I'm not really that upset. I just think it's important. And so like, we sort of have that conversation before and so when it happens, it's kind of like, it's gonna happen.

Allison Minutillo  27:19  

Well, you're taking what you learned from Andy Reid, like, tell him ahead of time what your intention is.

Matt Hasselbeck  27:24  

And to credit Mike Holmgren when we were in Seattle, he would do the same thing. Like when things were going well, he's like, Hey, I think it's important for the guys to see me rip you like I don't know when it's coming. But it's comin'. You know, and then like that, I mean, I say rip, but it's more like, they call it play like ready, right, like, well, woah woah woah get back, get back, get back. Listen, there's a standard here. Okay. There's a standard here that's been here for 30 years. Okay? I'm not gonna let this class - the 57th team in the history of this school. I'm not gonna let you say the standard doesn't matter. Okay. People worked really hard to set a standard. You guys can say ready, break and jog to the line of scrimmage.

Allison Minutillo  28:07  

That's been said about Bill Belichick style. It's like, here's the expectation. Here's the clarity of that expectation. Now you either rise up or you don't but at least you know what the bar is. That's also the leader's responsibility. Just tell everybody and communicate clearly. Not confusing consistently. What is the bar that we all need to rise up to?

Matt Hasselbeck  28:30  

And also you get to see it. So now I'm a younger player, and I'm not as good of a player as the older players, but like I at least see like, oh, you know what, it doesn't take any super talent to clap and say break and jog to the line of scrimmage. Like that's just an effort. thing. That's just a focus thing that's just showing that I care what what the coaches are saying is important.

Allison Minutillo  29:03  

Lastly, what do you wish you knew when you first started out on this journey?

Matt Hasselbeck  29:09  

I think while I was playing I learned a lot of different lessons as I went, you know, and like so then I started just stacking lesson upon lesson, going back to the early years instead of just sort of like complaining or being passive aggressive. What would have worked so much better, is not joking about it. Just literally going to the person that could get something done. Closing the door. The two of us and saying okay, listen, I know you said this, but I really think I could handle this. You know, like I know you said like, when we run slants on one side, we're running slants on the other side. I know you said that. You have great reasons and if that's what you still want to go with.That's fine, but I'm just telling ya, we can absolutely run slants on the side. And pitching goes on that side. Like we can do that. And I can make sure it gets done. Instead of being like, oh, well in high school man this play in high school, you know, like, whatever it is, you know, and that carries through through everything, just like an honest, like, sometimes it's so easy and I see quarterbacks do this all the time. They'll have a radio show or they'll have a press conference at their locker and they'll say something they'll put something out in the media like, well, I was really surprised the coaches had us practicing in full pads today, you know, concerned that we might be beat up. And now it's a story you know, it's out there. It's like, you're the franchise quarterback. Like literally just go up to the head coach's office, shut the door, and say, hey, Coach, you're the head coach. But here's the vibe from the locker room. You know, it might be smarter, and then they talk it out. And maybe the quarterbacks like, oh, shoot, you know, you're right. Or maybe the head coach is like, well, who are we really talking about? What we're really talking about is one guy. All right, great. You know what, let's give him half the reps today and then you know, and that's just like such a better leadership style that I did it sometimes. But more often than not, I didn't do it. And I think that's something I would tell my younger self.

Allison Minutillo  31:23 

What about now that you're on air? What does it feel like to be on the team, live, trusting now it's just a different version of live? What does it feel like to be led and to also lead while things are happening at you fast and broadcast nationally?

Matt Hasselbeck  31:43  

Yeah, it's funny because I think the advice that I got when I started at ESPN was great advice, but I didn't understand it, or didn't trust it, or didn't believe it. You know, and the advice was like, hey, just be you. Don't try to be like some person on TV. Don't try to be like, proving how much you know how many statute memorized or like, just be you. Like, literally just be you. There's no like, there's no way to be. And, and even like, if there is like, sort of boring, everyone's that way. And so like that, honestly, some of the, I think where it clicked for me is something that Chad, our producer said, he said, listen, all we really want you to do is is give people a ticket to something they could never buy a ticket to, you know and like there's not something one of my other bosses had said like if you ever say something on TV, that I could pull somebody off the street to say then you're doing it wrong. Like don't tell me that like oh 67% of the time these guys play zone like literally, like that's whatever, I mean, it's whatever. Say the things that maybe 12 people on the planet could say, or could share or tell you, you know about a person about uh, you know what it's like to play in the Superbowl. What's halftime like at the Superbowl? Well, let me tell you at my Super Bowl first of all half times longer than normal. So they prep you for that, the coaches,that the Super Bowl’s halftime's longer. Thank God they told me that because at my halftime in Detroit, the Super Bowl that we played against the Steelers, The Rolling Stones were the halftime entertainment, The Rolling Stones don't care about you're done, you know half times over, they just kept going. So we have an even longer halftime than normal. And so luckily for us, we're over there. I don't wanna say like taking a nap. But like we were, like our eyes were closed. We took our shoes or cleats off just to like, let our feet breathe a little bit or you know, cleats are so tight, like all these different things like because we were prepped like hey halftimes long already. And you know, it's just interesting. Like that was the approach we took. We had one guy on our team that tried to sneak it back out and listen to the Rolling Stones concert because he's like a diehard fan. You know, just I don't know. 

Allison Minutillo  34:04  

That chase of being you and finding your authentic self as you realize like that's the ticket to leadership. like finding who you are and getting in the pocket of that every single day. Every single moment treating it like a championship moment is really really good advice. 

Matt Hasselbeck  34:18  

Don't you think too like some of the best businesses that spring up out of nowhere came from someone sort of just saying you know what, I'm not going to do things the way they've always been done. Like I see a better way I'm just going to do it the way that I think it should be done and like it's just crazy, like, especially people who leave their job, start a company, sell a company, or just like literally change the world with how we live life. I can't tell you how many times a day Amazon comes to my front door and you know, just like and that was a little bit amplified through COVID and whatever. But yeah, it's just an interesting thing. And there's just great lessons, I think to be learned, even on television too. 

Allison Minutillo  35:02  

It all starts from a place of authenticity. So even amidst one of the busiest weeks of the entire year, we appreciate you coming on to our podcast so much. Good luck, commentating everything, have a blast this week. We appreciate all the things you've learned and sharing that back with us.

Matt Hasselbeck  35:19  

Thank you. That was a lot of fun. Thank you.