Kevin Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It’s A New Season

It's a new season. We have to play our best game of the year. It's us against the world. These are the mantras that begin to resonate through the locker-room. It's playoff time and every game is either bbq or mildew. The first things teams do is to become familiar with their personnel. Players want to know what their opponents' strengths and weaknesses are, and how they use them. Then coaches begin to lay out a game plan that will cause the opposition to have the most problems. They'll put more coverage in the back end to force a throwing team to run the ball more. Coaches will also put in a lot of deep balls and screens in their offense to counteract a defense that makes a living blitzing. Once game plans are implemented, the team breaks into groups by positions. At this time position coaches begin to teach the game plan through film study and players get to see what happens to their opponents when other teams have done the same things against them. After time has expired on film study practice begins. Players then move to the practice field and start to meld all of the information that's been giving to them together with their own unique style and abilities. Practices become very intense and much sharper. Leaders inspect all of the verbal and non-verbal language to ensure complete player focus. Coaches reframe from being on the attack because they never want to squash the confidence or create any doubt on the team. Once practice is over the team goes back to meeting rooms and begins to correct practice and breakdown more game film of their opponent. After film study is over most teams players leave the facility and go home. The teams with good leadership don't go home at this point. They usually stay and order dinner at the team facility or they go over one of their teammate's house to delve deeper into the game plan and their opponent. These teams realize they moniker, "you're only as strong as your weakest link." They understand that no matter how good they play, there's always another teammate that needs extra assistance. After the week comes to an end it's now time to strap on the pads and get to business. The teams begin to feed off of momentum and belief. The teams that remain constant under pressure will be the teams that will continue to advance to the Super Bowl. You will hear their players continue to make comments like, "we believed in ourselves," we knew we would make the play to win", and of course the old, "it took all three phases and our belief in each other to win this games.

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