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Coaching Staff, Weekly

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The Power of Reflection Going Into the Post-Season

I guess the older I get, the more time, or maybe the more I would say thought it takes on reflection. All right, here's something I've experienced. Again, maybe as a health teacher, maybe just as a 40-year-old man in front of you. As young adults, we don't spend a lot of time reflecting. Now, that's probably not everybody, but realize that much of what we do is off of instinct, it's off of emotion.

coach-marshall-chesterton-regular-season-2023All right, much of the 'I had a bad day' or 'I had a good day' is based off of what happened to me that day, and that day sets the tone for the next day.

So, I hate math, guess what, tomorrow I'm going to hate math, right?

Let's not look at this as a day-to-day type of thing, but in natural ending points like reflection in life should happen when there's a natural endpoint.

We are at the end of the regular season, okay, we are at the start of a new post-season, we have had now two weeks of practice.

Okay, when we look at it, when you reflect, and if you do it properly, you should go ahead and reflect not just on the positives, not just on the negatives, all right, but you should be able to go ahead and not literally but figuratively step out of your own body and observe yourself.

When people make decisions emotionally and/or otherwise, they go ahead and they make decisions based off of other people. Like, 'I enjoyed that class because that teacher did this, this, this, and this,' or 'I hated this because that other person did this, this, and this.'


But the power of reflection doesn't come in reflecting on other people. The power of reflection comes in reflecting on your own interests and what you did. You are responsible for the outcomes, okay, regardless of your situation, regardless of your status, we are all responsible in some part, in some way, as to what has happened these last nine weeks.

You may not have scored that touchdown, kicked that extra point, made that tackle, or made that sack, and again, there's more examples I could include in that, but every part of you is responsible for that outcome. All right, that is the idea of team over individual, and team sports are great about that. So, these past two weeks, I had a chance to reflect, step back, know that we didn't have an opponent last Friday. 


You hopefully had a chance to step back and reflect, and you did. You guys filled out your player evaluations. Okay, not only evaluating yourselves, evaluating your teammates, evaluating your love for the sport. All right, are you strong enough, are you fast enough, are you big enough to play the position you want to play? Do you want to play a different position?

And I go back to a quote from John Wooden about evaluation, about self-reflection, and it's this:

"Anything worthwhile takes time to build."

alcorn-portage-game-7We all want success now. That's unfortunately the way that the world is these days, but that's not how success works, after all. If we all had immediate success, we wouldn't build the true character needed to sustain true success. What you would have is instant gratification every time you wanted.

The struggles, the adversities, the triumphs, and the victories all play a part in building that process, and you must embrace all of it.

I've read all of your player evaluations.

Here are some of the things that stood out:

  • I got hurt, and it really sucked. I can't finish my year
  • I just didn't play enough for me to really enjoy the season
  • The season feels different than last season
  • I'm just not having fun
Like those are some of the comments, and I want to digest some of those.


homecoming-team-captainsInjuries, it's a part of the sport, and there's nothing I can truly say other than my heart breaks for you because you won't be able to, for some of you, be able to put on that jersey ever again with a helmet and shoulder pads.

I can't make you change your mind about that, but I hope when you look back at it, it wasn't just the injury is what you remember about that season or seasons.

I hope it's everything from the start of you playing up through that injury and even to wherever the end might take it.

Playing Time

Playing time, when you do that self-reflection, think about how committed were you in those Januaries. Again, I know, listen, I don't play a lot, and that's me in this moment right now. I'm ticked. I don't play right now.

If you still have time and seasons left, How will you make changes to that and and also reflect on what can I do differently to change that outcome or outlook for the upcoming season?

This season feels different

IT IS DIFFERENT! It's 100% different.  There are NO SIMILARITIES to this season as there were to last season. That's why we closed the book on that season, and you open up a new one. You take out a new pen and you start writing it from the beginning.

state-champ-ring-ceremonyThink about this, and it goes back to being young (and its not a bad thing, we all wish we were still, especially us older people)  The last memories you have of our previous season didn't have a lot of conflict, there wasn't adversity. 

There were ring ceremonies, articles that were written about you, state championship games and you walking out on top as champions. 

Its easy to say this isn't like last year... it sure as hell isn't and you're right!

Not yet...

But that's where your mindset has to be.

I'm Just Not Having Fun

fireworks-homecoming-2023And now lets talk about the comment about not having fun.

I had this conversation candidly with one of the players.  I said "What's fun then in football?"

Because there's nothing else in life, I don't think, that prepares you for life like this does.  With all of the UPS, all of the DOWNS, all of the SETBACKS, all of POSITIVES.

So, what does fun look like in football?

Fun doesn't equate to winning I've been on some really bad football teams, even at the Collegiate level but we still had fun.

Here's what fun was:

Our team meals are fun

It was fun 'that time' in the locker room.

Coach Marshall blaring his lungs out to Country on Thursdays that was funny he's fun all right

But we also have to think about what else is fun. Fun is executing and actually playing the game. Fun is doing your job.

There are some older people here (our QBC volunteers & VHS staff)  Many of them go to work every single day and it's not fun, but we do it anyway. We bite down, we do it we grind and we get through it. But it's how do we make it fun Okay, how do we make it fun?

So that is some of the stuff we can reflect on and again that could put you in this light.

Team Reflection

Here's something I'd like you to focus on because this tells you who you are as a team, a program, a Brotherhood, a camaraderie and everything else.

cheer-crown-point-2023Right now you are the #4 team in the state in 5A. You are the number four team in the state okay.

You get first class treatment wherever you go because of the Quarterback Club, and a family, and a Brotherhood that love and adore you all right.

Offensively right now you are #9 in 5A averaging 34.87 points per game.

Defensively you are number #7 in 5A  only giving up 14.78 points per game.

You right now are +14 in turnover margin plus 14 okay you've only given up the ball three times on offense that's it three times all right

travis-davis-crown-point-2023We have rushed for already 2,274 yards

We are averaging 6.6 yards per carry

We're a averaging 252.7 yards per football game

We have we have recorded 11.5 sacks, 

8 interceptions

10 fumble recoveries

But here's the thing when you reflect many times we only think about all the bad stuff it's what I've told you before and I know I've said this before during meals and especially during one of my speeches.

Nobody drives down the the road and admires the sunset causing a massive line of traffic. What do they do they drive down the highway and they stare at the Carnage of a car accident. That's how we're hardwired; to only look at the negative but I just focused you on the positive.


This now goes away from reflection and goes towards preparation.

This comes from the number 10 best coach all around as rated by all coaches both professionally and collegiately. The gentleman I'm talking about is Nick Saban. Say what you want about Alabama football, but he is the number 10 coach in the history of organized sports.

Here is how he prepares his team's mindset for the post-season

  1. Mediocre people hate high achievers and high achievers hate mediocre people. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, which I think we have.
  2. We will not talk about what we're going to accomplish we are going to focus on how we are going to do it. That's process. Focus on habits and the day-to-day processes. Which you have for the last two weeks.
  3. Winners just do things differently. You've been a part of a winning program this year and in past years. We do things differently, and that is positive reflection.
  4. The more you emphasize the winning the less you are able to concentrate on what causes success. Focus on habits and your mindset and the successes will come.
  5. Leaders earn respect, they don't worry about being liked. Do what is is right. Do your best as leaders in this team.
  6. Every team faces adversity. Champion's responses to those adversities is what separates them apart from other people.
  7. There is no continuum for success. Focus on progress, not on the results. We use it, it's cliché, it's one play at a time. On average 70 plays per offense and defense that's what it boils down to.
  8. I don't care what you did yesterday good or bad okay if you are happy with yesterday we are already failing. That is constant everyday progress.
  9. Tt is all about the team. Be present and hold your teammates accountable to every essential standard 
  10. Discipline yourselves so others don't have to. Disciplined teams don't beat themselves. Disciplined teams beat undisciplined teams every single time. They could be more talented; they could be better athletes; they could be better schemers; but if you remain disciplined in your approach and you worry about progress, success will come to you

In summary we talked reflection; reflect on it!

I know for some of you it's "My season has come to an end." Yes it has, it's a natural ending point. but your post-season has now begun.

All right, take with it what you can.

Engrain the positive and then build from that.

Take the negative and learn from that.

That's what we're asking you guys to do.

sectional round 1As I mentioned to you you're about to play a 2 and 7 football team.


There is nothing greater in their lives right now to tell you 30 and 40 years down the road "Hey we knocked off the defending champs."

They're going to basically take that figurative trophy put it on a pedestal carry it to the bars with them and tell people they knocked you off.

Don't let it happen!

Your approach, everything you do and have done will be what separates you from your opponent tomorrow night.

Go Vikings!

Topics:   Coaching Staff, Weekly

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