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Monday, April 9, 2012

Will Seniors Be Hungry?

Montee has amazed new people with his combination of talents as well as his practice demeanor & work habits. 2011 has made him more hungry!
I read the above tweet on Montee Ball. Ball was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a junior. You always wonder if success makes a player hungry or makes a player satisfied.

As a high school coach, this time of year, you anxiously look to see how next year's seniors will approach things. How committed will next year's seniors be?

We often focus on how players react to failure. There are countless stories of the athlete who lost and was inspired to work so it would not happen again.

Often we don't realize it is just as important to see how athletes react to success. I have had players who had great sophomore or great junior seasons. As a coach, you expected them to take things to the next level. But sometimes it does not happen. Their success made them content- it was good enough. Perhaps they figured just getting a year older would be all they needed to do.

Believe it or not, some of our "most improved" players have been players who were a star as a junior, and were driven to even greater success. Some players going into their senior year think it is-- "my turn", and figure success is guaranteed. But other players going into their senior year are driven by "this is my last year and I am going to make it special." As a result, they shock people by taking their game to another level.

We have had numerous examples of Streaks players who wanted to take their game to another level going into their senior year. We knew in the spring of the year when Bonny Apsey requested a more detailed weight training program, she was headed for great things. We knew in the spring when Andie Allison and Jenna Bicego came in to the weight room before softball practice in the spring, they were headed for great things. We knew when Jessica Howard in mid-March started calling to get in to shoot on the gun, she was headed for great things. Last spring even though she could not play because of injury, it was clear Paige Klinck had taken her commitment to another level.

One of the most exciting things for a coach is when they see players headed into their senior year and they clearly raise their level of commitment. Success has motivated them!!

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