The Turnaround: What Football Means to Me

The Turnaround

I’ll start today’s blog with a look at our scrimmage on Friday and then finish with some between the eyes thoughts on our great game of football.

mustang stadium

Lubbock scrimmaged 2016 state runner-up Sweetwater at historic Mustang Stadium Friday

Post Sweetwater

I had three goals heading into this one and we accomplished all of them. First, I wanted to get out of there completely healthy. That happened. Second, I wanted to get everyone some game action. Check that one off, too. And third, I wanted to see effort and hustle. Yeah, we easily accomplished that. So, in my opinion, this was a total win for us in Sweetwater.

The Turnaround

Jason Strunk during Friday’s scrimmage between Lubbock and Sweetwater.

We went in knowing we were only running about 10% of our offense and just sticking to the basics on defense. We also kept out some key players for precaution. As I said last week, I don’t get wound-up or excited for scrimmages. I am measured in my approach. We went in and did what we wanted to and we left. I saw what I needed and we are moving onto our next scrimmage.

The Turnaround

New Week, New Scrimmage

Please refer to last week’s blog about my approach to scrimmages. Another one this week. Looking forward to it? Nope, not one ounce of me. The only thing I am looking forward to is catching up with Ryan Rhodes, the HC at Plainview. He is a good guy and does things right. It will be good to chat with him for awhile before we start.

Football

Football is a great game. You know what else football is? A great teaching tool. I’m
sure you heard it all before from other coaches — how much this game teaches
character, adversity etc.

All of that is true, but I am going to tell you what football means to me, just without the cliches and sugar coating.

Football is a game that teaches you numerous things, both positive and negative.

First of all, if you want to be a starter you need to earn it. It’s not given to you. Nobody owes you crap in this world. Nothing is given. Later in life, if you want to be a CEO, do you think you just walk into Apple and say, “Hi, I want to be your CEO can I start today? Please.”

You need to earn everything you want in football and life. It’s is mind-blowing and
mind-numbing that I even have to write that. In a day and age where people sue
former coaches for not playing them (yes, that is true), we need to get our bearings back to planet Earth and understand the valuable life lessons athletics teaches us.

Too much, in recent weeks anyway, it seems like our world is crumbling around us and most of it, seemingly to me, revolves around selfishness. What the hell has our world come to when we are suing coaches over playing time?

Holy crap!  Think about that for a minute. What lesson did that person learn? Didn’t get your way, so you are going to sue? Basically, our world and this generation needs to grow up on all fronts.

If it wasn’t for football and the coaches who coached me, I would probably be dead today. That is a sobering fact. I was thrown a curveball at age 18, while a senior in high school, when my mom died pretty suddenly from cancer. I was lost. It was the most difficult time of my life. Thankfully, the lessons I learned in football and the coaches who coached me, carried me through it.

I have news for everyone. Me battling through the death of my mother and overcoming it, was not taught to me in a classroom. I also didn’t get through it by passing a state mandated standardized test. No, you don’t learn things like that in a classroom. Life isn’t learned in a perfect damn vacuum. Life sucks at times, honestly. I am so fortunate I could tap into my experiences in football to help me battle through a dark time.

You see, I had coaches who pushed me and wouldn’t accept anything, but my best effort. I had coaches who cared about me off the field, just as much as they cared about my performance on the field. My coaches didn’t hand me anything. I had to earn it all. Through that we built great relationships. That is why I am alive today and why I am a coach today.

I read today where there are “coaches concerned about our sports’ future.”

Nothing pisses me off more when I read stuff like that. Concerned about our sports’ future?

That isn’t coming from the coaches. That is coming for the world we live in today.
It’s time we take the bubble wrap off society and quit being soft.

Football is a valuable teaching tool. Football can get you ready for life and teach
you things you need to learn about life. It teaches you things like the world is actually a tough place to get by in. Real life will chew you up and spit you out
fast. Thankfully, for me, this game gave me a damn chance to succeed and I ran with it.

So football, I am glad I have you! Thank you football!

No randomness today. I said all I needed to say right here. I’m tired of sugar coating and cliches from this world we live in. It’s time to toughen up.

Until next time world we live in… FIO.

Jason Strunk

Lubbock head coach Jason Strunk celebrates after Lake View win in 2016 with quarterback Kwami Wilborn. Photo courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

 

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

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.