There are hundreds of different high school offensive and defensive schemes in the football world. I could stack coaching books from floor to ceiling and still probably not have all of them covered. It’s a creative game that has been infused with the intellect and talent of decades upon decades of innovators who changed the game.
Contrary to popular belief, though, scheme really doesn’t matter as much as execution in high school football. Actually, it’s more about how a team executes its scheme than the scheme itself. This, as much as raw talent, is what separates high school football teams.
I was (and still am for the most part) a relatively mild-mannered individual. But when it comes time for the competition, things change. The attitude changes, the approach changes, and my goal is to create chaos. Create chaos by playing in Imperial March mode.
Imperial March mode?
Darth Vader mode.
Dressed in black, take no prisoners mode.
In your face from all directions, steamroller mode.
Play simple. Play fast.
Play hard. Hit harder.
Again and again and again.
Intensity to the umpteenth power.
Control the line of scrimmage by storm and swarm.
The sound of collisions audible from the stands.
An attack force distinguished only by a jersey number and performance.
If we’re the favorite, destroy the opponents hope.
If we’re the underdog, be like David and go after their Goliath.
Get the picture?
Our empire ALWAYS strikes back.
The internal drive. That intrinsic motor that fuels your efforts.
It’s a blessing and a curse. A means of frustration and a means of fulfillment. It’s about never stopping your development and attacking life with the purpose of getting better every day.
Only looking back to get better at moving forward.
It’s what a coach does. It’s what a player does. It’s what a parent does, a teacher does, a writer does, a “fill-in-the-blank-on-whatever-kind-of-person-you-are” does.
Or should do.
The greatest enemy of progress is not your opponent. Nor your talent. Nor your situation.
Your greatest enemy is complacency.
The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you are totally, completely, and absolutely 100% ready to roll. Resting on your laurels is a sham. I’ve seen many coaches and players fall victim to this.
I’ve done it more than I’d like to admit myself. It’s hard to admit or accept when your efforts aren’t cutting the muster. But you have to fight through complacency. The best person to motivate an improvement is you.
It’s been said, “You are only as good as your last game.” Meaning that you are only as good as your previous effort.
This is misleading.
You are only as good as you dare to be tomorrow.
If you didn’t push yourself today, resolve to do so tomorrow.
Never quit striving to be better.
Never be satisfied.
(Part 2 of the Campbell Field Renovation Project focuses on a special place, a very special family, and the memory of a very special baseball player.)
Out of great tragedy, rises hope.
One of the greatest upgrades to the Campbell Field field baseball complex is the addition of the TLW Memorial Batting Cages. One of the things I am most grateful for in this whole field renovation project is this wonderful area donated to the baseball community following the tragic loss of one of our own.
I remember TLW coming to our Clay Center Baseball clinics when he was barely big enough to hold a bat up. He was my kind of baseball player. Ornery-awesome, to coin a Coach Hays phrase. Ornery as all get go, but willing to do the work to be the best ball player he could be. He’d be acting like a fool between drills, but once it was time to work, he soaked up what you were teaching him and attacked the skill with gusto. He was a kid who was right up my alley. I like ornery-awesome players and TLW was a classic.
As a baseball community, we can never do enough to show our gratitude to TLW’s people. Wendy, David, Jared, Janae and the rest of the family, THANK YOU!
Thank you for giving us a great place to hit baseballs and to coach hitting. But most of all, thank you for giving us a place to remember the TLW in his element. Every time I’m at the cages, I am reminded of that little baseball player with the big glove, the big bat, and the big heart.