Last season I had five starting offensive linemen who had combined to start about 130 games. My center had started about 30 games himself. Coming into this year I had two guys who had started a combined seven games and neither of them started those games at the same positions at which they would be starting this year. I had a feeling all throughout the off season that we were not going to be very good. Not only were we looking at a lot of inexperience, but we were going to be looking at some inexperienced guys who I did not see as being top-notch talent. When we started spring practice things turned out to be worse than I had expected. The guys I thought would not be real good were not and a few new guys we thought looked good were not very good either. My attitude throughout the spring and summer was terrible. Our line throughout the spring and summer was terrible too. We started the season 0-4.
At about that point I decided that my attitude was going to change. While I never consciously brought my negative attitude to the practice field and I never told the line how bad they were, there is no doubt that my attitude affected my performance and thus had a negative impact on my players. After my attitude changed toward my guys we steadily began to make improvement. When I went to the practice field thinking "we're going to get better today" instead of "we're awful" things started to turn around. We have now won seven games in a row, finished second in our region and we are preparing for the second round of the state playoffs. Did my attitude cause us to lose our first four and then win our next 7? No. There are several factors that have played a part in the turnaround. One of those factors was the line getting better, though, and THAT is what my attitude directly affected. This group of guys is still not going to go down as one of the best lines I have coached or will coach in my career, but it definitely is a line that I am extremely proud of because they have worked hard and gotten better and that started with my attitude.