Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Roller Coaster Ride” Season

Posted by admin October - 5 - 2015 - Monday

Football is unique in that you only play once a week— unlike other sports where 3-5 games a week can be the norm. So, in my mind, it’s easier to “see” the up’s and down’s (the Roller Coaster Ride) that can occur in football. Lemme ‘splane. (Princess Bride fans get that!!!)

Our season opened with a big win against a competitive team. We were flying high. The next game was against a school that’s much bigger (student population-wise) than ours and… we didn’t execute on defense (forgot to cover their star RB on several swing passes!) and our offense couldn’t do much against a bigger, stronger defensive front. We got knocked around pretty good. So, we’re 1-1.

The next 2 weeks we blow out two pretty weak opponents so we’ve got a win streak going. Then, as I published in my last entry, we faced one of our biggest rivals and conference foes. They outweighed us upwards to 100 pounds a man across the front. Our O line controlled them by staying around their knee caps all night and we beat them going away by 3 td’s! It was a great night! One of my favoritest! wins in my 5 years at my current school!!! sooooooo… huge win; 3 game winning streak; most everyone’s healthy (we lost an offensive guard who is a very good player with a knee injury for 4-6 weeks) and we’re riding high! Perhaps, too high!

We’ve flirted with the hurricane this past week and had to deal with some heavy rain— not like in SC however! My prayers go out to those folks. We had, what I thought, were 3 good practices. The school we were playing suggested that we play on Thursday instead of Friday to “beat the storm.” So we drove 3 hours to Charlottesville to play a day early.

We underestimated them, I believe, and we were still enjoying the taste of victory from the week before. At any rate, we weren’t ready to play and, as the saying goes, they “took us to the woodshed.” It was very frustrating. A lackluster performance against a quality team.

My point of this entry is: we warned the players all week! “Don’t be overconfident/cocky! This is a good football team we’re playing this week!” “Don’t let this be a trap game!” “Focus on getting better and doing your job.” It wasn’t like the coaches eased off and didn’t push them for the 3 days that we practiced. I find it very frustrating that it all seemed to “go in one ear and out the other!”

Motivation and persuation… interesting topics. It’s times like this that I wonder how much effect our words actually have on others— in this case, a high school football player’s mind. I know from reading and studying psychology that you have to create an emotional state to produce an emotional response. I just hate to “manipulate” our players. We were honest all week and worked hard. We showed them our opponent’s capabilities on video and properly prepared them. I say that and then realize… I guess we didn’t properly prepare them because they weren’t ready to play.

We need to find that “even keel” so we don’t get too high nor too low. We have an open week this week then… next week is Homecoming against another of our biggest rivals! I’m confident that everyone will be “up” for this one!!! The “roller coaster” starts back UP again!!!

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