As noted in the Special Message From The Head Coach the Secret Society is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2009. The pin depicts many of the themes that have come to gain special significance over this time. Some of the themes are of course new to the current year and the one that carries the most significance is our 2009 motto " GET BACK IN THE FIGHT." This theme is of special significance because it serves to remind us that adversity comes in many forms in life and in particular in football. It isn't limited to one place or time. Our will to compete can be challenged on the field, in class or even in our home. In fact one can travel anywhere on earth and never be completely insulated from circumstances that will test our will to compete. As such, one of our main goals this year will be to never let any circumstance, regardless of how overbearing it might be, destroy our will to compete. We want you to meet all challenges with this in mind. In our Hellweek practices when the the temperature starts to climb a few too many degrees and your performance and effort start to deteriorate, get back in the fight and practice every minute in a productive way. In our games we will ask you to compete for 48 minutes (MB) or more if necessary. If we are playing with a lead, stay in the fight. If we are behind, get back in the fight.
We also want you to always ask yourself What's Important Now? Too often one can be distracted by things that are of no importance to the goals we want to achieve at the present time. You can't be driven off course by circumstances and occurrences that have no bearing on what it is we are trying to achieve. Remember that if you want to WIN you have to address the matters that are important now. The things that are not important now are the things that will keep you from reaching your destination. The pin also reminds us that if you want to WIN you need to have FBI, FOOTBALL INTELLIGENCE. Football intelligence has always been a difference maker for us. It is a quality that can help us level the field against an opponent that perhaps has better athletes. It is a quality that can make us a better team and don't forget, the best players don't always make the best team, but the best team always wins.
As noted herein we have also included many of the themes that we adopted over the years and that now serve as constant reminders of what is expected from all Viking football players. The concept of NO LAST FRAME POINTS signifies the style of play we expect from all of you. The football is the most important thing on the field and you should always be making an effort to get to it once a play has unfolded. If we can see you in the last frame of the game tape we know you are heading in the right direction. If we can not see you, you will receive a last frame point that will also serve as a reminder that you weren't getting back in the fight. Of course, the time is always 11:30. Eleven people to the football and three downs and out. This concept is directly related to the the other two because if one of you receives a last frame point it means that we didn't get eleven people to the football and in addition we have a player on the field who isn't getting back in the fight.
Finally, we decided to commemorate the PLAY FAST theme on the pin. Playing fast is how the game should be played, but its not all about physical speed. You also have to have mental speed. The most ignored measurement in all of football on all levels is the mental 40. Athletes all over the country are attending combines, college camps and elite showcases. The thing that stands out the most when the results are posted is that no scores are ever posted for the mental 40. As a coach I have learned to not get too alarmed by the results of the 40 yard dash. It is important to work to improve your physical speed as much as possible, but in the end one or two tenths of second is all some athletes are capable of improving. The mental 40 is the area where the greatest room for improvement can be found and this is where I feel coaches can make the biggest difference. You have to have football intelligence (FBI) and on game day the players that we will ultimately put on the field will have it.
We had a good summer. Both our 40-G and Play Fast sessions were productive and our participation rate and accountability was very much improved. We still have room for improvement but we are headed in the right direction. So take a look at the pin. As you can tell from the discussion herein, everything we need to reach our goals and get us where we want to go is there.