Let me state up front that I never played college football, and certainly never coached at any level. I do, however, have some experience that might prove useful in assessing our current situation as fans of The University of Texas football team.
I spent many years as a SCUBA instructor, and as an Instructor Trainer. Not as a slide projector operator, but as a teacher striving to impart the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to make a student into a diver that could not only enjoy the good times, but also survive the occasions when things went badly.
One of the issues that we discussed among fellow instructors was how to prepare student divers for stressful situations when you would no longer be by their side to solve any problems for them. I remember an article titled along the lines of “Squeeze Your Students.” It sounded strange at first, but it here is what it said. Forgive any errors, it has been many years.
Researchers separated lab rats into two groups. The rats in one group were picked up and squeezed, then released at the first sign of stress. The rats in the other group were squeezed well beyond the point where they complained. This went on for some time. Then both groups of rats were dumped into a tank of water. The ones who had gotten off easy quickly gave up and drowned. The ones who had been stressed more, fought and struggled much longer. Of course, they drowned, too, but that’s not really the point of this little story.
When we look back at last Saturday, which group do we think represents the players on the Texas team? Which group is more like the Sooners? Just maybe, is it time for the coaches to start squeezing the players a little harder and longer? Maybe you don't get to start next week if you can't put in the effort this week? We have heard a lot about the new and improved S&C coaching. We have been told all about RISE. There was lots of swagger in the Cotton Bowl last Saturday. Unfortunately, it was on the same side of the field on which it usually resides.