Attitude can be over stated at times but when it comes to Football it matters all the time. How a team practices and performs each and every week stems from the core of the team. That inner voice that is uniquely focused and adjusted to the complete focus of the team. The staff has the challenge but it’s the players that make it all come together and execute. Each year the clock starts over and the players are exchanging their war stories and introducing the newbies to the world of college football they have volunteered themselves to participate in. The coaches have a fine balance of hype versus sustainable cultural development over time. It doesn’t just show up. That first meeting that first time in the locker room and that stroll to the first day of practice. The attitude of the team develops and can go sideways quickly.
Identifying the Leaders of the football team is critical. Choosing the key personalities to help the coaching staff build on their vision and help install the culture is one of the most important stages of developing the right attitude that transfers vision to actual fighting and winning spirit on the field of play.
Time is your enemy with the building of the culture. You never have enough time as everything is measured and over the years the NCAA has reduced the amount of time the staff has with the players so it’s even more important to choose the leaders of the team early and help them build that message in to an attitude that adds that little extra on the field of battle.
This years Trojan team seems to have that look in their eye. We haven’t seen a lot of live film and reporting due to the restrictions put on the media but there are glimpses of a sea change coming. This is all in the hands of the staff lead by the head coach, Clay Helton. He is calm but when needed he can roar like a lion. He is far more confident and has always been consistent in his teachings and messaging. He has a very defined attitude with the players and staff. His expectations are well understood. His staff appears focused and the physicality which translates deeply on the field of play is going to be on display in the first three weeks. This is not an easy schedule for the Trojans. USC will launch against UNLV Rebels then travel north to Palo Alto and the Stanford Cardinal. No overlooking the Rebels but when you have Stanford on the road week 2 and then go to the great state of Texas and face at the Texas Longhorns it’s natural to go in to that what-if level of day dreaming.
So if we summarize the Trojans Attitude in 2018 I would have to say it’s showing good progress towards that end of Pete Carroll era and could easily be on display this fall and winter on the field of battle. Anxious to see if this pre-season hype lives up to itself. We shall see.
Fight On Trojans!