Commitment – Why Football Programs Succeed
I found myself with too much extra time on my hands the other day. That always leads to thinking. I’m led to believe that can be dangerous, at least for some of us. Typically, it leads me to noticing trends in the material that I read every day. One small thing in particular jumped out at me. The word, commitment.
It’s a word that doesn’t appear to carry as much cache today. At least not like it did in the day of our grandparents. Sure, we can get into all the areas in which the word no longer carries as much weight but this is a sports site. Besides, if I need any degree of preachiness I’ll hurry over to the homes of any number of acquaintances who feel I need to change my ways. Note to said, don’t hold your breath.
No, I’m thinking about college football at the moment. You might imagine that I’m going to go off on athletes who change their mind at the last moment. You’d be wrong. That commitment and what it entails is, without a doubt, very important. I’d like to believe it reflects positively upon the young men who stick with their choices. But, I certainly understand why some will change their minds at the last moment. Let’s explore some of those reasons.
Commitment – Where Does It Start?
If not the athlete than who am I referring to? The schools. The programs. The coaches. Let’s start with the schools. An administration must be made out of individuals who keenly understand the importance of education and their athletic programs. Both feed each other and contribute to the success of the school. Administrators need business acumen for schools to succeed in both arenas.
How does the word commitment come into play here? Raising money, improving your facilities (all of them) and projecting success to your students, to their parents and to alumni is a commitment. You’re sending a message. We’re winners and you can be too. If you aren’t committed to having the best and growing you are stuck with status quo. That doesn’t mean you want to keep things the way they were. It means you are being left behind.
Without commitment by the schools, the programs (not just athletics) suffer. I’ve seen this first-hand and I’ve also seen those same entities turn things around. Yes, it can be done but it’s much more difficult trying to play catch-up.
Commitment – Live Or Die
Colleges who want to compete at a higher level must live or they will die. It’s a slow and painful thing to watch when they choose the latter. If we examine ACC football programs from the past we can see what inattention can do. Fortunately, with a progressive group of presidents, athletic directors and a strong commissioner in John Swofford the ACC has become a leader on this forefront. Slowly but surely we’re seeing new facilities pop up across the conference. Boston College and Miami are the two most recent programs to push for indoor practice facilities. Is it a coincidence that both programs are on the rise? Commitment will do that for a program.
When it comes to the coaching staff and commitment a quick glance at the ESPN Jr 300 speaks volumes. The list of 2020 recruits who have announced where they plan on going reflects the commitment that staffs are making to the athletes and their families. It’s not just selling someone on what they can do for you or showing them your facilities. No, a serious commitment to helping you grow, learn and become a better person through your experiences is a lock. The rest is the cherry on top.
What is it about Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Duke and Notre Dame that speaks, commitment? Each school is making a commitment from top to bottom and it hasn’t gone unrecognized. The planning, networking, the ask and finally seeing all of that come to fruition is no small task. The men and women who make that happen often are behind the scenes and not given nearly enough recognition. Find out who they are and thank them.
Make A Commitment
ACC schools have made great strides in making a commitment to growing their football programs. It doesn’t stop with adding a new coach though. That next step to growing across the board is but one of numerous steps still ahead. Make the college experience one that students will always remember.
Make that commitment and watch it pay off.
More ACC Nation Podcast Sports News Basketball Football Baseball