Here are some excerpts from a well-written article by Anthony Oppermann for the Galveston County Daily News on Houston football coach Tom Herman. Coach Herman has his Cougars 8-0 and he gives credit to the evolution of the culture he is creating. You can read all of this article here, but here is a section I really enjoyed:
Ask Herman about the team’s perfect record or national ranking, and he will tell you it doesn’t matter, none of it matters.
But then he will say something that does.
“Praise always feels a lot better than criticism in the short term,” Herman said the Monday after the Tulane game. “As humans, we try to seek out praise, and what I told (the team) is the really successful people seek out criticism. They want to be criticized, and they want to be helped to improve on their craft.”
Herman has admitted that his role is equal parts football coach and novice psychologist, especially when dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds.
“They’re prone to just revert back to being primal, and the human element, the human side of things says, ‘I’m just going to cruise through today and do what’s easy.’ What’s easy is to go through the motions,” Herman said earlier this season.
And speaking of primal, there was the moment after Houston’s 59-10 win at Central Florida when Herman applied his primal principle to dealing with adversity.
“The primal human instinct, human element is to freak out and try to do things that you’re not trained to do,” Herman said. “We want to make sure that our guys, even when faced with a tremendous amount of adversity, they’re very mindful, they take a deep breath, and they go just focus on the next play.”