The preparation process for success is continual. Whether you are at the top of the game or playing pee wee level football. In college and pro level football, when a guy gets hurt there is a saying that it has to be the next man up mentality that will keep the teams’ success moving in the right direction.
When I was with the Ravens in 1999, the offense was deathly afraid of losing Jamal Lewis. I was mystified by that mentality. I have been and always had the thought that the game must go on. I felt that I was crucial to the teams success, but just in case I would always share my thoughts, playing tips and lessons with the guys that backed me up. I wanted them to be as good if not better than me. A healthy team perspective allows guys to be confident in their worth to the team and want the worth of others to be the same. If I went down, I wanted the next guy to be prepared in such a way the team would still be successful.
To me the saying ought to be the next man trained and prepared for success. As a coach, I coached my number one just as I coached the guy on the practice squad. I felt like both had the same amount of importance and could be called upon to be in the game at anytime. I trained each one on their level while attempting to have each prepared to do their jobs at the ability needed for the team to be successful. I would often tell the players that were not the number one guy to get ready to start. Waiting until someone gets hurt is too late. The right type of mind has to have the intent in mind everyday. You have to always be prepared, so when it happens, you are ready.” NEXT MAN TRAINED
The next guy trained is the responsibility of the player, but to me even more so the responsibility of the coaches. Good coaches have the ability to seem like they have stock piled talent. What they have stockpiled is the ability to continue to train the players the necessary way that has them prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. They realize that it’s not if a player will get hurt, it is when. Continually training the ballers is an obligation and duty that coaches perform. Well GOOD COACHES.
Driven to be successful as a coach… Next man trained!