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From an All-Time Great Coach, one of the best pieces I've read.

LarstheRed

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
And I know it's likely all of you have read this too, but I wanted to post it again, because we see some of these issues on our current football squad.

COACH AURIEMMA: I don’t want to sound like an old guy. I don’t want to sound like an old guy who’s been coaching a long time. So it’s going to come across like that, I’m sure. But recruiting enthusiastic kids is harder than it’s ever been. Because every kid watches TV and they watch the NBA or they watch Major League Baseball or whatever sport they watch, WNBA, doesn’t matter, and what they see is people just being really cool. So they think that’s how they’re going to act. And they haven’t even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot and they’re going to act like they’re really good players. You see it all the time. See it at every AAU tournament, every high school game.

So recruiting kids that are really upbeat and loving life and love the game and have this tremendous appreciation for when their teammates do something well, that’s hard. It’s really hard.

So on our team, we, me, my coaching staff, we put a huge premium on body language. And if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don’t care how good you are. If somebody says, well, you just benched Stewy for 35 minutes in the Memphis game a couple of years ago. Yeah, I did. That was to motivate her for the South Carolina game the following Monday? No, it wasn’t. Stewy was acting like a 12-year-old. So I put her on the bench and said sit there.

It doesn’t matter on our team. The other coaches might say you can do that because you’ve got three other All-Americans. I get that, I understand that. But I’d rather lose than watch kids play the way some kids play. I’d rather lose. And they’re allowed to get away with just whatever and they’re always thinking about themselves. Me, me, me, me. I didn’t score, so why should I be happy? I’m not getting enough minutes, why should I be happy? That’s the world we live in today, unfortunately. And kids check the scoreboard sometimes because they’re going to get yelled at by their parents if they don’t score enough points. Don’t get me started.

So when I look at my team, they know this. When I watch game film, I’m checking what’s going on on the bench. If somebody is asleep over there, if somebody doesn’t care, if somebody’s not engaged in the game, they will never get in the game. Ever.

And they know that. They know I’m not kidding. We only have 30-some games. If you’re lucky, what’s this, 30 what — 37. 37 games. You can’t get up for every one of those games? You can’t be excited for every one of those games? And you’re on scholarship. Now, you’re playing on the best team in the country and you’re going to mope, seriously? That’s the way we handle it. Now, they might be faking it, I don’t care, but they’re not moping, there’s nobody moping.
Consider one last thing when you read this and think, 'heck ya, we need to have this exact attitude'. This is a Hall of Fame coach. He's Tom Osborne, Dan Gable and John Wooden all wrapped into one. Even he struggles to maintain this, and he's just having to create this environment with 12, maybe 15 players. Scott is trying to do this with 100+, so let's remember it's a tough job, and even if we turn half the roster over, that's still a chunk of guys you are trying to 'reinvent'. Patience is going to be needed. I hated watching last night, but I've got patience enough. Let's let the man work.

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LarstheRed

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
I love great athleticism, but it’s most fun watching players who love the game
To your point, I wasn't wow'd by anyone on the Minnesota roster. Their RBs didn't look like freaks of nature who made you gasp every time they ran. Instead, I saw guys who made some pretty basic cutbacks, kept driving their legs even when first hit, and continued to hold onto the ball. They went to work and made the most of every play.

I love explosive plays, because as we saw when watching UCF 2 years ago, Frost and company were NEVER out of a game, but we need to have a level of consistency, because complete reliance on big plays is not a plan for success.
 

Elwood von Kiowa

Grad Assistant
5 Year Member
To your point, I wasn't wow'd by anyone on the Minnesota roster. Their RBs didn't look like freaks of nature who made you gasp every time they ran. Instead, I saw guys who made some pretty basic cutbacks, kept driving their legs even when first hit, and continued to hold onto the ball. They went to work and made the most of every play.
And because they had that "want to" that we didn't, they could run through our D linemen who are twice their size.

I love explosive plays, because as we saw when watching UCF 2 years ago, Frost and company were NEVER out of a game, but we need to have a level of consistency, because complete reliance on big plays is not a plan for success.
HCSF addressed this as well in the post game. If the guys can't execute (the fundamentals) consistently, then the scheme / game plan isn't going to work -- regardless of how fancy it is.

I sense incredible frustration on the part of the coaches, in that those lessons that seemingly took hold last year, aren't showing this year.
 
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