The Turnaround – Week 1, Monday

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

School Spirit at Lubbock High SchoolCraziness. That is how I describe the first day of school and football practice. Always chaos. Always the unexpected. This really let’s you see how tuned in your guys are. It’s a mental battle. The physical effort could be an issue too because, after all, it is a long day and it is a new routine. It’s long for the coaches too.

I think we handled it well today. New routine and schedule structure. It takes some time to get used to. We will be better tomorrow. Our guys will be ready to roll tomorrow. We had a good practice but it wasn’t as juiced as it usually it is. We didn’t have music going today, which was also a change up. Hopefully we have things going tomorrow and we are back to normal.

On the whole, it was a good work day. Game plan is installed. We got a bunch of teaching done. We pick up the energy tomorrow and it will be a great day. Don’t settle for less! Give me all you got. Strive to be great, Westerners!

I love Texas. Great place to live. Tremendous people. Great food. Something else I love about Texas: we practice football in the middle of the school day. Football is a class period. Probably the only state in the U.S. that has this. It is a luxury I never want to give up!

We use our class period to lift weights, watch film, install game plans or do walk-throughs. Some days we may go full gear and go out on the field and do a full-fledged practice. The bottom line is we are afforded the opportunity to get done what we need to during the day. Then we come back after school for practice. Take advantage of what you are given and be thankful for it.

Lubbock football team meal

Westerners enjoy Monday night team meal

I still shake my head and smile every day when I take a moment to reflect on practice during the school day. I will never take that for granted.

Tonight was our first spaghetti dinner of the year. We hold them every Monday night after practice. It’s a time for the kids to sit down as a team and family and enjoy a meal together. Rebuilding a program takes a lot of work. Building chemistry and the sense of family is a critical element in this process. It’s good stuff. Get on board and have a meal with your team. It is well worth it.

I met with James Garcia, Alex Loredo, Steven Duke, Tommy Najera, Jordan High and Kristian Johnson tonight. This has been and outstanding group of captains thus far. They get it. They are tremendous leaders. We meet weekly or as needed. We talk about practice schedules, the pulse of the team, food needs and sometimes we even talk about other sports. It’s just really good to meet with your leaders and work together with them on getting the team on the same page!

I don’t do all this high maintenance captains councils or committee stuff. Look, identify your leaders and make them captains. It’s simple. I don’t need representatives from every class. We pick the best leaders, regardless of classification. Give them responsibility and show them how to lead. It’s a simple process. Do not over-think it. Just find your leaders and show them how to lead. It’s working for us!

Ryan Huber team meal

Westerners kicker Ryan Huber, big leg and big appetite!

– Yanks have won five straight. I’m getting excited! Wait… No I am not. Bernie is gone. O’Neil is gone. Jeter will be. Posada is gone. Mo is gone. Took those guys for granted all those years. It’s just not exciting anymore.
– We have had close to 1,000 blueberry muffins baked for our team by various members of our community.
Johnny McCanlies and Kevin Hodges are my Middle School Coordinators at Hutch and Cavazos, respectively. They do a tremendous job. Blog will be written about these guys soon.
– My son, Mac, is now officially in my football program as a Hutch Ranger. What do I think about that? Nothing really. He is just like the rest of them. Coach them up, love on them, but don’t be afraid to fire them when needed.
– I will be retiring to Laguna Beach, California. Hopefully by the age of 40… One can only dream.
– I hate balloons. Drive me nuts.
– I smashed my cut off finger in a freezer door today. Awesome.

Well, I think I’m done. It’s 11:00 p.m. Need to run and workout yet. Need to stay committed.

Figure it out…. It’s all you got in life. Without it you cannot fucntion. FIO.



Lubbock Football

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.