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11/19/2012 6:30:23 PM -

We had a playoff game this weekend. We won, big, and we’re going to the next round. As usual, this got me thinking about a few things with regard to, as Nick Saban calls it, The Process.

There are two times each year that I miss playing football. When is when camps open up in the summer, and the other is during high school playoff and college bowl game season. During the middle of the season, I’m fine. I’m coaching, I’m watching college and pro games when I can, and I’m occupied. It’s at the beginning and end of each season when my competitive juices start flowing and I remember, like it was yesterday, being a player. This obviously happens to a lesser extent before and during mid-season games, but during the periods I’m talking about, I can go through entire weeks where everything reminds me of football—not that I’m complaining.

What I’m doing this year, since I’m in the midst of a very enjoyable season, is imprinting this shit on my consciousness. These few weekends? This is a big part of why we do this shit. Yeah, we want to develop kids we can send off to college, but we want to win, too. We want to make the playoffs and go all the way through to our league, conference, county, city, and state championships. There’s nothing like it, and winning is a major part of why we’re in this.

Here’s what I’m proposing.

If your team is in the post-season right now, look around. Take everything in, and I mean everything. Shit, if you have to throw the soundtrack from Friday Night Lights in your headphones and walk around, do it. Go home from practice and start a journal. Write about what everything feels like—down to walking off the field at the end of practice in the dark and cold. This is what the f**k you’re here for. These weeks. Not 7-on-7’s in June, not spring practice, not all the clinics you go to. Nothing else.

Take a crapload of notes and vow to remember everything that’s happening. What it looks like, smells like, and sounds like, and especially what it all feels like. Make sure you have that cemented in your mind.

Then? In January, when you’re starting your off-season program? Bust out those notes, and read and remember. Do the same thing the night before you start camp next August. Begin with the end in mind.

Angry Coach

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