The Turnaround – Week 2, Thursday & Friday

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

Lubbock Westerner helmets ready for home opener Saturday against Andrews High School

Lubbock Westerner helmets ready for home opener Saturday against Andrews High School

Thursday
Sixty minute workout for the Westerners today. It was Thursday but this day really served as our Wednesday prep day, due to the Saturday game. Practice was okay today. Not bad, not great. It was in between.

The thing I want most is for us to start fast on Saturday. Today, we didn’t start practice fast. It bothers me. I want to see us come out on Friday like a team obsessed with being great. I want to be a team that starts fast, plays with confidence and sets the tone for the game. Too many times I have seen us come out and play timid at the start. We cannot do that anymore. We need to start fast. Dictate the tempo and flow of the game.

Like I said, wasn’t bad today. It just wasn’t how I wanted to start the practice. We got better as we went, which is good. Tomorrow, however, we need to start fast.

Friday
Threw them a curveball.

I broke from the traditional practice format today and jumbled up all of practice. We started with KOR. Then we went to defense. Then we punted. After all that we sent PAT. You get the idea. I was all over the place and it was for a specific reason.

Football games, like life, are unscripted. I want us to start fast. I think we did today. But I also wanted to see how we react to different scenarios. I threw it all at them. They handled it. They handled it real well. I even threw in a scenario where we have our QB, James Garcia, lay flat on his back on the turf. I even called the trainers over to stand over him. I just had him lay there while the offense ran a play five yards away. Why in the world would I do that?

I wanted to make sure our team knew that no matter what, the game still needed to be played. Whether James was in or not, they have to go play. We deflated last week when James was out. That cannot happen this week! We must fight through everything that is thrown our way. The kids showed me today they are willing to fight for what they want!

The hay is in the barn. Time to win!

THE QB
James Garcia will start at QB tomorrow. He is back after missing most of last week’s game. In his career as starting QB, James has played 6.5 quarters. We have scored 82 points in those quarters. Do the math. Pretty good, right? He is dynamic!

He starts tomorrow and he will finish the game.

Lubbock team poses for photo after watching high school football film "When The Game Stands Tall"

Lubbock team poses outside of the theater for photo after watching high school football film “When The Game Stands Tall”

MOVIE TIME
We took the team to the movies today. We practiced for sixty minutes in the afternoon. After that, we rounded them up in the locker room and told them to get changed. They had no idea what we we’re doing. They piled onto the bus and off we went.

One of our coaches, Jeremy Maxfield, has a connection at a local theater. He used that to get us the theater all to ourselves. The players payed for their admission, coaches too. It was money well spent. Team bonding. At the movies.

Lubbock HS running backs coach Adam Rosales has plenty of popcorn to watch "When The Game Stands Tall"

Lubbock HS running backs coach Adam Rosales has plenty of popcorn to watch “When The Game Stands Tall”

Nothing is better for chemistry and the sense of team. It was a great day for us.

Oh by the way…When The Game Stands Tall is one of the best football movies ever made. This movie touches upon everything we try to instill into our kids. Powerful movie that makes other football flicks look like they were made by kids. Get out to see it! Our kids were glued to the screen!

RANDOMNESS
– Life is what you make of it. The pasture isn’t always greener on the other side. Happiness is the key to whatever situation you find yourself in.
– Yankees. Nothing nice to say about them tonight.
– Game day tomorrow. Let’s get nuts!

Let’s FIO week two!

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.