Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sometimes The Name on the Jersey Scares Players More Than the Players in the Jersey

On Friday my freshmen played City Conference power St. Paul Johnson at home. Johnson is a well coached and pretty talented team. I knew we would struggle. I told my guys this may be our toughest game all year but we could beat them, and my guys believed me, maybe a little too much. We came out of the gate firing on all guns and got out to a 13-4 lead early on. Then, during a timeout, one of my guys looked around the huddle and said "I can't believe we are actually beating Johnson", and everyone else looked at him with the same look of disbelief. Right then it sank into the kids just WHO we were playing. After that, my guys started to play scared. They didn't realize that they were out playing these kids and were actually as good as them, they instead focused on the fronts of the jerseys instead of the players in those jerseys. So next time we play them, I'm going to make sure to be much more low key about the whole thing and just quietly assure them we can do the job. I am not sure how to get rid of the sticker shock yet, but I will think of something. Maybe have our guys go against the sophomore team wearing Johnson jerseys?! I don't know! But the nice thing is we get a rematch against them in a few weeks, we will see where we go from there.

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