Now that training camp and game #1 are behind us, I have some time to get back to the blog. Thankfully this summer’s preparation was time well spent. I’m proud of the way our student athletes made individual and collective contributions to the team both on and off the field. We focused on the fundamentals, practiced hard, and closed pre-season physically and mentally ready. We opened our season on the road against the team that beat us in the 2016, Vermont Division I State Championship and came away with a 22-19 win. Tough opener but it did provide great motivation and a point of focus for our players through summer OTAs and Training Camp.
Going for 2 was the difference in this year’s game. We converted 2-of-3, 2-point conversions and they made only 1 extra point. In some programs, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a coach take credit for what some would consider a “gutsy call.” On the contrary, those calls were based on our players’ hard earned confidence in themselves and belief in each other as teammates.
After the game, several reporters approached me to request interviews with our quarterback, who had over 100 yards rushing, 100 yards passing, two touchdowns, and two 2-point conversions, and our running back who had over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. After setting up the interviews, one of my senior offensive linemen who had a stellar game both offensively and defensively with 3 pancake blocks, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a blocked extra point, came up to me and said that they are interviewing the wrong guys. He was so right. Football is a game of interdependence. Teams, families, companies all find themselves depending on one another. Inevitably some get credit, some get blame, and in time history settles on its version of what actually happened.
Though the local paper may recount the story through a reporter’s lens, we’ll grade the game film recognizing both the things we did well and the things we can do better. Each player will know how he contributed, and it is my sincere hope each will find ways to recognize those who played to their potential regardless of the media’s perspective. But in the end, each has to reconcile with their own conscience earning and affirming self respect and satisfaction born of knowing they selflessly gave their very best.
With that in mind, I share a great article featured at footballscoop.com that my assistant head of school forwarded to me entitled “The 6 most important life lessons you learn by playing offensive line.”
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!