Monday, January 31, 2011

A random thought about distractions...

Our team went 6-7 this season, and that is not good. Many people point to the off-field problems causing on-field distractions. I think that's a possibility. I can say that there were times in my days at practice when my mind would drift momentarily. Perhaps it doesn't help that the offseason workouts at UGA have lately been seen as "less-than" what is necessary. Without instilling mental toughness, it's hard to keep players disciplined and focused.

Now, let me share with you what has put me on this train of thought this morning. Last night, I watched a fifteen minute video about the new and improved Butts-Mehre Building. I'm going to go ahead and say that I had more than a few nostalgic moments while watching the video, but also a good bit of jealousy. When I was at UGA, I sometimes wished God had made me about 2 inches taller, 20 lbs heavier, and half-over as strong as I was....watching that video I wanted all of that, and about 13 fewer years of life under my belt. Man, what a different experience it would be to be on the team now than when I was there.

Of course, I imagine every former athlete has those moments.

Then, though, another thought started creeping in on me. I wonder if the renovation itself might not have been a bit of a distraction. It's been well documented that rainy days in Athens often result in a break from routine - that the team loads up on busses and heads over to Ramsey for practice. Having taken part in those practices I can tell you that they are definitely not on par with the normal practices...and how could they be? They are a distinct break from the routine. Routine is essential in the world of athletics. It's why a pitcher's windup and a quarterback's throwing motion are always the same. It's the order in which a player suits up - his wristband ritual, his kissing of his lucky pendant. It's why a month lay-off for a bowl game can often result in less-than stellar performances. I wonder if all the strange goings on, all the construction, different people coming and going, upsets in the routine, etc. had some kind of effect on the team.

I'm not saying that improving the facilities created a 6-7 record. That would be idiotic. However, I do recognize that some of the problems this team faced this year came straight from a lack of focus. Could it be that these added distractions did nothing to aid them in that?

Looking at the facilities we have now, and listening to reports coming out of the Tereshinski camp, I can't help but believe we will see a markedly different team in the fall.

Go Dawgs.


Stephen said...

Again, glad im not the only one to think that a bunch of LITTLE BITTY things like this result in a team not up to what they should be. NOT ONCE did UGA get blown away this year.

They were all close, hard fought, and frustrating losses....little bitty crap adds up.

Im glad im not the only hopeful optomist out there who believes we are gonna see some good stuff this fall.

ThePetis said...

Great point, buddy...

Glad to see you blogging again, almost thought you'd gone Georgia Sports Blog on us.