In sports and in life everyone does the big things, but the true winners do the “little things” that often go unnoticed. Successful football teams are the ones that in numerous unnoticed ways do a hundred different things that compiled create the “Winning Edge.” I have taken notice of all the “little things” that are going on with the UH football program that cumulatively lead toward success. Here are just a few:Winter workouts- Putting together the “team concept” of competition has created an extra enthusiasm among the players. The extra pound lifted, the extra sprint ran, the extra emphasis on being competitive will pay off in numerous ways.Second chances- Any player whom was overlooked or felt like he would not be given the chance has that chance now. Coach Mack has declared a “clean slate” for all players and he means it. Guys are working harder than ever for a shot to start or even play. The extra passion and enthusiasm shows in every workout.

Recruiting- I seldom listen to or read the “experts” on recruiting and prefer to follow the New England Patriots philosophy of “best fit.” I have seen too many “5 Star” recruits give up after one year and too many hard working walk-ons achieve All American status. This coaching staff was given the green light and the budget to go out and get the best fit for this program….I think we accomplished that. You can believe in Rivals and all you want, but I prefer to believe in the coaching staff.

Facilities- Facilities in and of itself does not created wins, but in the case of UH it is symbolic. Things are getting done and players are taking noticed. It makes them feel appreciated and wanted. That does count for a lot!

New blood! I like the young look that has been added to the coaching staff! The only new guy I know is Nick Rolovich, but in the short time I had a conversation with him, I could see that one day he would make an incredible coach. He will be able to tell the QBs things that only a player from this system could relate. I believe he will be a superstar.

Consistency- There was an inconsistency in how the team rules were applied…those days are gone! Everyone will live by the same code, the same discipline and the same accountability. This is the factor that often cuts into morale when players feel there are exceptions to the rules. Coach Mack does not make exceptions and that is already evident. Look for a team that is already close to have the highest level of morale ever!

New stars- It always happens when you lose quality players, others step up to be counted and fill in the ranks of the departed. There are players whom as we speak are dreaming of greatness on the field of battle. They will shock and surprise all of us and we will wonder how? Look for players whom you never expected to make a difference making the difference. Why? Because they have a shot at greatness!

Discipline- Coach Mack has a way of bringing out the best in players because he expects the best. I don’t know that the UH football team maintained discipline at all times…Coach Mack will expect and demand it. Mental errors will not be tolerated nor inappropriate conduct.

There are many more “unnoticed things.” Our 2008 schedule will demand a higher level of performance than last year. There will be few “cake teams” and that means all the little things will make the difference. You can never deny that talent is important, but there is also no denying the power of team, the power of hard work and dedication, or the power of believing…these kids and these coaches believe that they are ready to put on a great show in 2008 and we should all be excited about a new era and a new opportunity.


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The Little Things