The Turnaround: Teaching Tuesdays

The Turnaround

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

Tuesday came and went. And naturally, what is a Tuesday without some wacky Lubbock weather?  We got dumped on again today, but just for three minutes.  A straight out  down pour and then it was gone. Weird stuff.

Alright, aside for the weather, we had a solid Tuesday.  In fact, this was our third solid practice of the week for Dumas and we still have two to go.  Last we we had a total of 1.5 practices, so we are way ahead of the curve, in terms of weekly preparation.

Tuesday’s are the longest and sometimes most frustrating day of the week.  It’s the first time going live with new plays, fronts, adjustments, auto-checks etc.  As a coach, you spend all weekend crafting this elaborate game plan and you have to wait until Tuesday to see it in real action.  Mondays are spent going over the scouting report and walking throughs.  So Tuesday is the day to see it all come to fruition on
the field.

You need to be patient as a coach.   Mistakes are going to happen on Tuesdays.  It’s just how it is.  I have been coaching way too long to let a few mistakes on Tuesday get me unglued.  But, as a head coach, it is my job to calm the players down and the coaching staff.  You cannot get too bent out of shape over mistakes on Tuesday.

If effort and hustle is in question, then yes, jump the team.  But, as far as mis-alignments or missed checks, you just need to relax.  Walk through each mistake and get it corrected on Tuesday.

The idea of this game is to be ready on Friday, not Tuesday.  We had some typical Tuesday gaffes.  We will be better tomorrow and even better on Thursday.  Keep you wits about you on Tuesday.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint and Tuesday is just the third leg of the race, not the finish line.

Weekly Captains

As I wrote before, Blake Robbins is our lone permanent captain.  I pick three others to join him every week.  I base the selections on performance, attitude, effort etc. It’s what I think the team needs, in a leadership capacity, for the week.

This week I selected three players to join Blake.  Our bother tandem of Tyree and Isaiah Johnson were chosen.  They had great performances against Andrews. They also displayed the fight and effort I look for from a Westerner.

Also selected was David Morton.  This one was special for me.  David does not miss practice. He is there every day.  His attitude is great.  His work ethic is tremendous.  He just never waivers from what he does.  He is the model of consistency. What’s even more telling about David is he does this and he knows he may never get a shot to crack the lineup.

David is awesome.  He works every day to get better.  His reward on the field will be coming to him.  But for now being a captain is the best way I can show him how much we appreciate him and his effort.  He is what we are all about.

Do not overlook anyone on your roster.  People lead in different ways.  I am very thankful to have David Morton on our team and in our locker room!

Mental Health Tip

Block out all the negativity you may encounter.  People always have an opinion.  They are free to voice that opinion.  You always have the option to ignore that opinion as well.  Outside chatter and negative vibes cannot distract you.  Naysayers will always be naysayers; coaches will always be coaches.  You know who you would rather be.

Negative vibes and words can weigh you down.  Instead of turning the negative things you hear into an issue, use those words as a teachable moment for your coaching staff and your team.  Be bigger than the negativity.  Lead by example.

Randomness

-Yanks are showing life. It’s fun to watch.

-Take the field with class.  USC looked awful coming out of the tunnel with all kinds of theatrics.  What happened?  They got pasted by Alabama, who only showed up to play football, not pretend to be tough. Lesson for everyone when it comes to taking the field with class.

-How bout that Texas/Notre Dame game?  Wow. What an epic battle.  Was fun to watch. The Longhorns offense is going to do some good things in 2016.

-What is with all the QB shuffle college teams are using this year?  Can’t remember ever seeing so much of it before.

-NHL season is right around the corner.

-Oh. Back to college football. Have a college game on every Sunday. Move the NFL to Tuesday night or something.

-Another athlete kneels during the national anthem.  Refuses to stand.  This one says, “I wanted to keep the conversation going.”  Wow.  How bold of you.  Just play your sport and cash your paycheck like the rest of us do.  You are an athlete not some politician changing the world. FIO.

That is it for tonight. Talk tomorrow.

FIO.

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.