Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Many weary and wary of talk during Dawgs summer workouts

"Last year, I think we kinda just went through the motions."

"We didn't push ourselves as hard as we could have."

These are but a couple of examples of what we tend to hear from players following a relatively disappointing season. It can get old, and most fans, particularly the more disgruntled ones, don't want to hear it.

The most obvious and instantaneous response to the aforementioned statements is, "Well, why the hell weren't you pushing harder last year?"

True enough, as it seems coaches and players alike would realize by now that champions are not made by just "getting by" in the seemingly endless number of drills and workouts.

At the risk of sounding like an apologist, though, I'll point out a little thing called perspective.

The workouts and regimens put forth by any football program out there is bound to be grueling and a test of the will. While you're in the moment, with coaches and teammates yelling at you to do better, go faster, etc., you could easily feel like your giving every last bit of effort you can. It's only after a loss or a disappointing season that you might look back and say, "You know what? I think I really could have given more."

There's also the problem of a lack of a better response when asked what is different about this year's practices and workouts. Certainly, after a 6-7 season, nobody's going to say, "We're just doing what we've been doing." For, as football legend Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

So, try not to blame the players for saying they're doing things better, working harder, staying more focused, holding each other accountable, having higher attendance at voluntary workouts, or otherwise changing things around. They probably are, and they've got to believe that they are.

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