Navigating The Season

It is finally here! Every high school player in the country has been waiting for this moment since their season came to an end in 2015.That being the case,  I’d like to give you some thoughts on how to navigate the season to help you have the best results.

Ready…

Hopefully, your level of training this off-season has you ready for your best year of football. Because you are a leader, I have no doubt that you have put in countless hours in the weight room with your teammates. That should not only give you confidence to start the season but also to finish the season. You’ve done the work to be in better physical shape to give yourself an advantage over the competition. Additionally, you’ve leveraged our camps to improve your physical skill and knowledge of the game. You’ve been challenged by our coaches to be your best and proven that you are capable of taking coaching and applying it to see results. Your preparation should give you confidence that this football season will be a successful one on many fronts.

Aim…

Many of your teammates are just excited to be playing football. They hope to “do well” and “win games.” But in order to have a more productive and purposeful season, your team needs to work towards a goal. Goals provide direction and motivation for everyone involved. It also can be used to improve decision making. If people realize what is at stake, they are less inclined to make decisions that could put the goal in jeopardy. It is important to note that while winning a state championship should be a goal to strive towards, that might not be realistic for your team. If a goal does not appear attainable, no one will buy into it. Try having an honest conversation with your coach to see where he thinks the team can go. From there you and he may be able to reach a common mission that will motivate and inspire your teammates.

Fire…

Each day you get the opportunity to play football, you need to give it everything you have. It can be easy to say, but much harder to live, especially as the days of camp drag on. What are you going to do every day to ensure that it is your best day of football? It may mean challenging your teammates to a competition. It may be stepping up as a vocal leader and calling out the person who isn’t holding up to the standards that your program has set. Each day will require something different. But your commitment to improvement and excellence cannot be different. You must be the model of consistency. That doesn’t mean being perfect. It means that you never settle for a poor performance. You expect to make the right read or catch every time. When you make a mistake, you don’t flinch. If things are going great, you don’t get complacent. You give every day your best shot and hope that your example inspires your teammates to do the same.

Reload…

For any season to be successful, the team must tackle each week with proper preparation and focus, regardless of the outcome of the previous week and your compounding record. Clear up any issues from the previous week so that they do not hang over the team in a negative way. Ignore the record of the team you’re facing. The only resume you should care about is what they show on film, because the film never lies. Additionally, be someone who has a pulse of the team. Communicate with your head coach about how the team is handling the season and what they might need to make this next week successful. Your preparation should give you confidence that each week can end with a victory on Friday night.

I purposefully left out talking about your personal success. You play the most team driven sport there is. The team will always come first. If you are the guy who values the team the most, the personal success will follow. Remember, “A rising tide raises all ships.”

Posted in Goals, Practice

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