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This advice will help every player you have that's currently in a position battle

The spring and early fall is a time when depth charts start to sort themselves out for staffs everywhere, and for players it's a grueling period of proving that you belong on the top of those depth charts.

At Michigan State, longtime sports psychologist Lonny Rosen recently lent his ear to backup quarterback Tyler O'Connor and provided him with some advice that completely changed the way he looked at his spring position battle. The lesson is one that your players would definitely benefit from.

O'Connor told the Detroit Free Press that he grabbed an open session with Rosen to ask how he should approach the quarterback competition between him, starter Connor Cook, and Damion Terry (who is battling with O'Connor for the #2 spot). Rosen's response? There's no such thing as a competition between the three of them.

"He opened my eyes. It’s not a competition between the quarterbacks. It’s a competition between each quarterback and the defense." O'Connor explained

"I can’t handle with Connor does. I can’t handle what Damion does. I’m going out and I’m not trying to be better than them. I’m trying to go out and do what my skills allow me to do.”

That change in his thought process has completely transformed his thinking. Now, after watching a good play from one of the other quarterbacks instead of thinking, "I have to go out there and top that" and putting an enormous amount of pressure on himself, he now understands that the position battle is a process and that it's a culmination of his entire body of work against the defense, not the other guys in his position group.

How many players on your roster would benefit from that kind of change in approach when it comes to position battles?




Mic'd up with Texas running backs coach Tommie Robinson

If you're shooting a football movie and looking for a prototypical football coach, here's a suggestion that you consider Texas running backs coach Tommie Robinson. In a nearly three-decade career that has taken him to Troy, Arkansas, TCU, the Dallas Cowboys, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Miami, the Arizona Cardinals and USC, Robinson joined Charlie Strong's staff in Austin this January. 




Huge coaching secret revealed

For the past ten years, perhaps no receivers coach in the country has landed (and subsequently developed) more tier 1 talent than Gunter Brewer. Everybody knows the G-Brew coached Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon; but honestly there are about 10 other ballers in the league who Gunter has coached as well...ever heard of a guy named Randy Moss? Yeah...

Well, coaches across the country have been asking for years how does G-Brew land and then develop all this talent. For years the word has always been that he is just incredibly passionate about his profession and has devoted his life to improving the lives of these young men. He truly gives everything he has to these players. 

Having known Gunter for several years now, and his father before that, I can attest that he truly is one of the good guys in the profession.  OK, with all that said, there still was some belief in the back of some coaches minds that Brewer had a secret up his sleeve that helped all these players become so enamored with coach Brew. Today that secret has been revealed...

Roll the tape and prepare to laugh yourself silly at Gunter Brewer's dancing ability!

On behalf of the entire coaching community, we'd like to thank the North Carolina video staff for not immediately burning this video once it hit the servers.




Video: 'Fear is not real. Fear is a choice'

You might want to bookmark this Boise State video if you have a game this upcoming season where you're a big underdog, or if your roster is full of inexperienced players.

While the obvious intention was to promote their spring game, the narration throughout the clip is much more profound. In a nutshell it explains that fear is not real, but rather a choice that we make.

"Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that are not present, and may not ever exist."

"That is near insanity."

"Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story."

"Fear is a choice."




Take a video tour of Boise State's new football facility

Boise State opened its new football facility (generally speaking, it opened last summer) to the media on Wednesday and, judging by the video below, it does not disappoint. Named in honor of the Broncos' long-time athletics director and program architect Gene Bleymaier (now at San Jose State), the $22 million facility checks in at 70,000 square feet and houses everything you'd expect a state-of-the-art football facility to house. 

"I love the steel locker room. That expresses that Bleed Blue mentality that we talk about. … The players lounge, a majority of our guys spend time there each and every day. That’s exactly what you want — you hope they’re staying in the building," head coach Bryan Harsin told the Idaho Statesman. "The way it is set up functionally is as good as any place I’ve seen.”

Basically, it's everything you'd expect a program that boasts a 165-29 record over the past 15 seasons to have. 




How Urban Meyer - and a consultant - are changing Ohio State's culture

Hear him talk about it, and you begin to think Urban Meyer's Buckeyes were the most miserable 24-2 program in college football over the past two seasons. As he describes it, Ohio State seemed to win games in spite of itself. That's Meyer - a relentless pursuit of unrelenting perfection. 

Andy Staples of SI.com on Wednesday provided a wonderful look at how a chance meeting between Meyer and Columbus-based leadership consultant Tim Kight has completely reshaped the way Ohio State approaches the game of football. It's really worth your time to read the entire piece, but here are a few nuggets to whet your appetite. 

- Meyer has his assistants show up at 6 a.m. on Monday for a series of six 90-minute lectures as Kight immerses the Buckeyes' coaches in his philosophy. 

- Speaking of assistants, Meyer no longer calls them that. They're now unit leaders. Each position group compete against its counterpart on the other side of the ball - running backs vs. linebackers, and so forth - in an effort to get all nine groups playing to their potential. "If you have six of nine, you have a good season," Meyer said. "If you have nine of nine, well, Florida State had nine of nine. 

- Meyer on the no-huddle offense: "I still don't like that part of it," Meyer said of the lack of between-play interaction among players. "But the stress that it puts on a defense, that's why we do it. You'd be crazy not to do it."

- Kight on the importance of culture: "It's essential. It's everything. We believe culture eats strategy for lunch. Strategy says 'This is the behavior I want.' Culture determines whether or not you get it."

Read the full piece here.




'I'm Jake Spavital, and I'm comfortable in my own skin'

Texas A&M allowed offensive coordinator/rising star Jake Spavital a nice spotlight to inform Aggie fans and recruits of his background and coaching philosophy. 

It's a nice, painless opportunity for coaches to get some face time; if your staff isn't already doing something like this, you should. 

What we can't get past, though, is the similarity to this:




'Every once in a while, players teach coaches'

When he finally decides to call it quits, Tom Izzo will forever go down as one of the best coaches in college basketball history (and I'm not just saying that because I am a loyal Spartan fan).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; in the coaching profession there are lessons and wisdom that transcend boundaries, and at their annual sports banquet, Izzo shared one of those lessons while talking about a moment between one of his players (Adreian Payne) and a young fan named Lacey who was battling cancer. If you've been hiding under a rock the past six months, you can read the full story here.

Long story short, the team basically adopted Lacey, making her a part of team events and providing her and her family an all-access pass inside of the program. What they wanted to do was give her something more to fight for, but what actually happened was much bigger.

"People say that coaches are supposed to be role models, and that we're supposed to help people grow up, and be somebody that you learn from, and you hope that you teach players a lot of things."

"But every once in a while, players teach coaches." Izzo said, his voice full of emotion.

I'll let the video pick it up from there. Listen carefully at about the two minute mark as Izzo talks about one of the greatest moments he's had in his 30 years in East Lansing as he sat back, and watched the scene in a hospital room unfold.

The lesson here is simple. Don't be afraid to take a brief step back and learn from your players and also be sure that you're providing them the opportunities that can change their life, the lives of others, and who knows...maybe even your own life.

Lacey Holsworth lost her battle with cancer this morning at age 8.