Coach's Corner: Tom Radke 11/11

Tom Radke

By Tom Radke St. James Head Coach
Posted: November 11, 2011 - 7:25 AM

The Big MO, (momentum). Ride it, or confront it. It depends on which side of it you are on. If you have just made a big play, ride it. If your team has just made a mistake, confront it head on. Momentum can win you a game, get your team on a winning streak, or get your life back on track. On the contrary if you are not careful, it can lose you an easy win, it can send your team into a tailspin, or it can set your life down the wrong path.
It is very important to recognize, and know the proper ways to deal with momentum if you are going to be a successful person in life. As we all know, not everything goes your way, and sometimes in life, we fumble. How we pick ourselves back up determines what kind of team/person we will become.
Fortunately, and unfortunately teams will feed off the emotions of a momentum swing in a game. It’s contagious. If things are going bad, it is hard to change the momentum back to your side. If things are going great, ride it, don’t think about it, milk it for as long as you can. Take a shot downfield, call a big blitz, or do something funky on special teams. Try to make another big play, so the big MO will stay on your sideline.
When you have momentum during a season, everyone wants to be a part of it. The school is a buzz, the parents are trying to find more ways to promote your program, and the alumni emails start to flood in. When this happens, don’t sit back and be content, find new ways to keep the momentum going. The big MO can win you a championship!
When you have momentum everyone wants to be around it, but if you lose big MO, a lot of people want to run from it. This is when the true test of a coach, and as a man comes in to play. How do you handle adversity? How do you teach your players to handle adversity?
If you lose big Mo, you must fight it with more energy, but be careful to not get too negative.  In a game, take a time out, calm the guys down, and call a basic play. Let your guys see you have taken back control of the game. Stay positive. Many times it is so easy for coaches to go off on somebody, when you lose momentum, but if you stay calm and stay the course you have a better chance of getting out of it.
It is very important to teach your boys how to handle adversity and how to change momentum back to your side. Make it a part of our practice plan each week. Teaching our players how to handle adversity is an important step in the building process of turning these boys into young men. So coaches, don’t get discouraged if you lose big Mo during a game, look at it as a teaching opportunity, and build from it.
Quote: Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself.