The Turnaround: Quit with the cliches!

Lubbock Westerners football

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

Day 5

We had a great practice Friday!

Attitude, effort and conditioning.  They knocked it out of the park.  The Westerners have not wavered all week.  They have responded to everything we have thrown at them.  They are a solid, unified group.  This week has been a pleasure to watch.

We wrap up Week One on Saturdat with a quick practice, going roughly a little over an hour.  We will follow that up with our team pictures and individual pictures for our media guide. Then…we are out of there!  I will explain more in a bit.

Strunky II

I haven’t mentioned this as of yet, but my son, Mac, is a freshmen and part of our football program now.

Mac rides to the office with me every day.  He helps the varsity coaching staff with practice after he is done with his freshmen practice.  He is constantly on the go.  He “works” from 7:00am until about 1:00pm every day. Not bad for a

My freshmen coaches are the ones responsible for coaching Mac.  They decide his position.  They decide his playing time.  They decide which team he is on.  What do I have to do with it?  Nothing.  He is just another kid in our program. He will be treated as we treat all other players.

It’s fun having him around the program.  I am going to enjoy the next four years with him.


As I said above, today, we will “be out of there.” What does the mean?

Today, once everything is done, I will clear that building as fast as possible so I can get the players and coaches
home to their families!  I’m shooting for 1:30pm.  This is important to me.  In fact, it is a critical element to the program I run.

You see, I am a human being and so are my coaches.  We are not robots.  They can get out early and go home to recharge the batteries.  Be with family.  Do something you enjoy.  Have a life outside the office.  The players can do the unthinkable: go be kids for 36 hours!

Treat your players and staff the right way.  Give them time to enjoy life.  We only have one shot at this thing called life. I will not deprive my coaches and team of that privilege.

A fresh mind is a fresh body. It helps get maximum results from everyone in your program.


You know, I love our profession.  I love all of my coaching colleagues, BUT we are guilty of abusing cliches and it needs to stop.

Cliches are a no-no for me. Cardinal sin to use them around me.  They drive me nuts.  They are just empty words.  Just stop it already.


Grind: “Wake up and grind.”

Look, you coach football.  It’s what we love and choose to do.  Do not mistake this for a blue-collar job.  If I worked in a West Virginia coal mine, I could say I grind…but I don’t.  I am a football coach!  How about saying, “wake up and have  fun!”

The United States has people that truly do wake up and grind through the day. It’s insulting to them to even entertain the thought that what we do is a grind.  Do not call what you love a grind.  EVER!

Win the day: “Win the day today.”  Well, then.  I’m certainly not waking up saying, “lose the day.”  So what exactly is the point of this nonsensical term that has taken off?

It is what it is: “We struggled tonight…it is what it is.”  Oh, really?  Interesting. Question?  If it isn’t what it is, then what is it?  This is an infuriating cliche that really gets me wound up.  Hollow dialect…empty.  Shallow coaches and players speak.  That simple.

Please stop using this lingo.  Be original.  Don’t be a cliche!


-We won the day today.

-I have a hole in my sock.  It is what it is.

-I’m just grinding through camp.  It’s tough coaching in this heat.  Then I have lunch delivered to me and I sit in my chair and have meetings.  I’m grinding baby!

-See how awful Randomness is when I use cliches?

-Yankees won Friday.  That makes it a good night.

-Opening ceremonies for the Olympics Friday night even though the Olympics already opened-up.  Hmmm?!

-Jeff Fisher needs a leash for his belongings.

Blake Robbins is a tough as nails football player!  Fact!

Eric Bartel is a good friend of mine and a great follow on Twitter.  Check him out.

Sweetwater HC Shane Mobley is coming to LBK today.  Watch out.  When we are together, it’s nothing but laughs and us solving the world’s problems!


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.