Practice Makes Perfect?
Posted by DonJuan   
Sunday, 03 January 2010
Every now and then, I read or watch something that triggers a flashbulb-type thought that I have to write something about. Watching the epitome of selfishness on this video got me thinking. How important is practice? Can practice be too business-like?

After watching Notre Dame play uninspired ball for yet another year, and having seen the changes made in practice philosophy--i.e. the Irish Eyes drill; I wonder to myself if tempo and over-thinking a complicated scheme would lead to slower looking/performing team play.

If you ever want a treat, go check out a practice at a lower level college, say Toledo, and look at the simplistic ways which players are taught. See Spot run, tackle Spot or run stadium stairs. Now obviously not all colleges are this basic by nature and some require hours upon hours of film study, but does all this over-thinking hurt an athlete's natural instinct to attack on pulse without the cognitive getting in the way?

I think it does. Now don't call me a buffoon yet, please hear me out. I'm not suggesting that Notre Dame's problems are all related to complicated practice routines, but I do think it adds to the confusion we often see on our LB's faces as they blitz and a TE runs a seam route right past them for a 20 yard gain.

Practicing the right way will be an important foundation for Brian Kelly and his new staff. How we scrimmage Tuesday through Thursday will directly effect how we play on Saturdays. "Getting back to basics" is a popular halftime phrase used by coaches to explain how their team will have to adjust to the other teams' first half success, but in our case rings particularly true.

Building a foundation of good practice will perhaps allow the chains of indecision to fall off and for once, afford us fans the luxury of watching a controlled, passionate team playing with fire and intensity. Practice makes perfect.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 January 2010 )
 
In The Rough?
Posted by DonJuan   
Sunday, 03 January 2010
Congratulations to Justin Utupo for winning Lineman of the Year by the LA Times! The 6'2", 235 pound DE from Lakewood, California proved all year what a strong work habit and a perpetual motor will do for you. According to his coach, Thadd MacNeal, "Justin was the heart and soul of our defense and he made all the little plays he was supposed to make and then he made the Notre Dame-type plays." We, that is all of us who sit at home and judge recruits off of an oft'-flawed star-rating system, tend to place the "Justins" of our class on the back burner, usually forgetting and quite often referring to them as a star and not as an individual talent like they should be. Well Mr. Utupo's not going down quietly and he deserves praise by muchisima gente'--or many people. This class has the feel of a 'diamond in the rough' type of class, but Justin is already gleaming bright!

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 January 2010 )
 
Happy New Year! :
Posted by DonJuan   
Thursday, 31 December 2009
 
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