Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Emotion and Adrenalin

Posted by admin October - 11 - 2010 - Monday

This will be short because I’m tired. We played a make-up game previously scheduled for 2 weeks ago during “monsoon season” here in Tidewater Virginia. The game was against our arch rival. You think those of you who coach high school kids have some interesting kids to deal with?!!! Welllllllllllllll… try middle school kids. Here’s a good example. Two days before our opener, we brought out the helmet “decorations” and had each player apply his own helmet stripes and decals. We cleaned them up and they looked real nice for the game. One kid missed practice that Monday. He walked into the coaches office on Tuesday and announced that he did not get his new helmet. One of the assistants asked him to explain. He said, “I wasn’t here yesterday and I did not get my game helmet.” We’re looking like he’s crazy! He can tell we don’t get it so he states, “The game helmets… the new ones… like everybody else got yesterday!” We just about fell out of our chairs trying to keep from laughing out loud!

These same kids were so wired up before the BIG rivalry game today, that I couldn’t find anything to say or do to calm them down. All I know is: by halftime, some of our kids were so drained that they had “0” left in their tank! They were playing like zombies.

One of my mentors in coaching, Jerry Carter, once told me that you need to “sell” your kids on the idea (especially before a BIG game) that whooping and hollering and lots of emotion is NOT going to win the game. In fact, quite the opposite. If you will just go out and play with high intensity; hang with the opponent till halftime; that the other team will “run out of gas” by halftime. All the adrenalin promoted by the emtional high is going to leave the body’s systems. The result is that “2 pm rundown feeling” that one of those energy drinks is trying to sell in their commercials.

Now you can go out the second half and take it to them. Neither too high or too low. Stay focused. Play with intersity. It minimizes mistakes and helps you win games in the second half.

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