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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ARE YOU PREPARED WHEN YOUR NUMBER IS CALLED?

Another great passage from Coach Urban Meyer's book "Above the Line."  We read this one to our team last week.  Players all want more playing time, more opportunity, but what are they doing to maximize that opportunity when it arises.  This is a great story:

The outcome is that you are prepared to make the play when your number is called.  There is no better example than Kenny Guiton.

In 2012, Kenny was a junior backup to quarterback Braxton Miller.  Throughout all of our practices that fall, Kenny was the most mentally and physically engaged player on our team.  When Braxton was running players, Kenny was 10 yards directly behind him, make the same reads and checks, executing the play mentally.  Then, when the ball was snapped to Braxton, Kenny would perform the correct motions just as if he were taking the life rep.  That was our culture at work.  He was preparing in case his number would be called.

That October, Kenny's number was called.  We were down against Purdue by 8.  On the last play of the third quarter, Braxton went down and was injured for the rest of the game.  Kenny game in.  It was the final drive of the game and down by 8 points with 60 yards to go, forty seconds left on the clock, and no timeouts left.  He led the offense down the field, and threw the game-tying touchdown pass to receiver Chris Fields with only three seconds left in regulation.  On the very next play, Kenny tied the scored on a perfectly executed pass play to tight end Jeff Heuerman for the 2-point conversion.  After taking the game into overtime, running back Carlos Hyde dived over the line for the game-winning score.

We won that game and kept our undefeated season intact because Kenny Guiton fully embraced our culture of competitive excellence.

Our third core believe is power of the unit, and it means that our players have an uncommon commitment to each other and to the work necessary to achieve our purpose.

People see the remarkable performances of these players on Saturday, but they do not see the tireless work that those players and their unit leaders put into training and preparing to compete.  And they did the work not knowing when, or even if, their numbers would be called.