Editor's note: What better week than TCU week to roll out a new OBNUG feature...and what better person to do it than Boise State's own "Minister of Defense", Marty Tadman? From now until he finds out what kind of operation we run around here, Marty Tadman (Yes...the real Marty Tadman) will be writing a weekly column for OBNUG that gives us lucky readers a chance to better go "behind the scenes" of the often tight-lipped Bronco program. Enjoy these articles—cherish them. Without further ado, I give you Marty Tadman with Tadman Tuesday.
With this upcoming game against TCU, I thought I would let you know from a former players perspective, what the coaches do to motivate the team for these "big" games. You all hear in the media that Boise State always treat every opponent with respect. But is that entirely true?
In 2006-2007, we opened the season with Sacramento State, and closed the season with Oklahoma...I know none of you remember the Oklahoma game, so I'll refresh your memory a bit...we won the game!
Oddly enough, everyone assumes that motivation for the Oklahoma game would be much more intense than Sacramento State. Sad to tell all of you you're wrong. From a coaches point of view, they know and understand that we as players are aware of the records and ability of the teams we are playing against. They know that as players, we might overlook Sac. State as a guaranteed victory, and to be honest, it was. So in preparation for the Sac. State games, the San Jose games, the UNLV games...coach Pete and his staff push much harder to make sure we players stay motivated for these "guaranteed victories." Now, we know nothing is guaranteed, but lets be honest, we are going to win those games 99/100 even if we don't play that well. But Coach Pete knows that the players can never come to that mindset the week before. We can't overlook anyone and we can't have a cocky attitude. So in those weeks, practice gets more intense and often longer, hitting is harder, yelling happens more often, and film study is more seriously pushed by the coaches than ever.
But what does a "big" opponent do for us and the coaches with motivation?
Well not much, the coaches know, that if we are playing Oklahoma, every singe guy in the locker room knows how tough our opponent is, so they don't need to have longer practices to make sure we're taking this serious, or hit all practice; and if we're not in the film room all day on our own, we have a problem that they just can't fix no matter the motivational speeches. They know that if we haven't figured it out, if we're not excited, if we're not prepared and ready to go, then there's nothing they can do to help. Oddly enough, the weeks we play big opponents, the players don't have to be told to do much by the coaches. They have ingrained and recruited the right mindset and instilled it into us so much that they know we know what we need to do. They know we know that a BCS bid, or a life-changing moment, or national recognition is at stake, and so they don't need to do anything extra to motivate us. They know we need extra motivation when we play Idaho every year, because honestly, us younger Broncos don't remember the "good" Vandals..we remember them and know them how they are...a state JV team! (Just kidding but had to throw a Vandal jab in there)
Without coaches saying a word or yelling, the players are so intense during those "big" weeks that they don't need to motivate us at all. It's the weeks when we play the "guaranteed victory" teams that they step up and force us to stay concentrated so we don't overlook that opponent and have an embarrassing loss.
So when the media ask coach Pete, "what do you do to prepare for TCU and how do you motivate your team?"
The answer is simple "nothing different than last week or next week, one week at a time." And that holds true, motivation from the coaches isn't needed this week, the players know themselves how important this game is, the coaches jobs are to slow us down, not get too "geeked out" and let our emotions take over our intellect and preparation.
I can assure you this week, Coach Pete's job isn't motivational, if the players can't find motivation, then we have a serious problem!
You can visit martytadman.com to read more Marty tangents.