Football: A Commitment to Preparation and Success

Football: A Commitment to Preparation and Success

Mitty’s Football team has an unwavering dedication to prepare for the challenging games throughout the season, allowing them to stay ahead of their competition.

Football is a sport that demands more than just physical prowess. It also requires unwavering mental toughness in the scariest moments. Hits are hard, schemes are intricate, and the atmosphere is wild. Unlike other sports that play multiple games in a week, the varsity football team typically competes only once a week, making each game crucial.

So what is the mental, physical, and emotional preparation that sets Mitty Varsity Football apart on game day?

Success on game day can be traced back to long before the season officially kicks off. They commence their journey towards the season in the summer, just a week after school ends. The summer practices are vital to growing into a smarter and more skilled team. They not only get stronger and faster, but also become more familiar with the schemes, the playing style, and core football abilities. Offensive Lineman and Captain John Skeet said that, by the first three weeks of practice, the team “had already gotten the basics down.” Then, the team builds on these fundamentals while improving their weaknesses.

Additionally, the players have more time to connect with teammates to form a tight-knight community and get integrated into the team’s culture. By the time the season starts, the entire team is ready to face the challenges ahead. Evidently, their dedication during the hot, grueling days of the summer paid off, as they jumped out to a 20-0 lead in their first game at James Logan, and never let go of that lead, winning 20-12.

Each week during the season, Offensive Line Coach Koloto encourages the team to adopt a specific mentality to guide their preparation. These mentalities are crucial as they help players focus on the unique challenges presented by each opponent. Skeet commented that offensive linemen are encouraged to embrace the “five as one together” mentality. This means playing as a cohesive unit, where no player is left behind. 

Through this mentality, the offensive line is able to perform better on the field. When one man misses a block, another lineman can pick up the defender and support his teammate. Even when the opponent is blitzing, and there are more defenders trying to sack the quarterback than offensive linemen, the five linemen can use this mindset to protect the quarterback as if they were one wall, instead of 5 players focusing on their own situations. Off the field, this mentality encourages the linemen to form close bonds with each other, support one another, encourage one another, and keep each other accountable. Skeet says that he and his fellow linemen celebrate big plays together and lean on each other during hard times.

Coach Nichols, a key figure in the team’s preparation, ensures that the team is physically ready for the intensity of football. He helps the players gain strength by putting them through various conditioning exercises and exercises involving weights, along with encouraging them to eat high protein meals. He also improves their agility by having the players do speed drills. Furthermore, before practices and games, he leads a complete warm-up and stretching routine, increasing adrenaline and intensity right out of the gate, while decreasing the potential for injury.