Nick Saban and Alabama secured a gigantic 42-28 victory over LSU Saturday night. After such a significant win, it can be easy for the Crimson Tide to fall into what Saban refers to as "relief syndrome."
Relief syndrome is falling into a relaxed state after accomplishing something such as a big win, which can lead to mistakes happening later on. After the LSU win, the relief syndrome was so inescapable that not only did Saban have to worry about his players getting it, but he also had to keep his wife Miss Terry in check as well.
“I’ve got to straighten her out this week with relief syndrome too,” Saban said Thursday on "The Pat McAfee Show." “I wake up on Sunday morning. She looks at me and says, ‘Man, it’s going to be hard playing at Auburn.’”
“I said, ‘What’re you talking about? Are you kidding me? We’ve got to play Kentucky this week. Then Chattanooga the next week.’ We’re worried about that when we get to that. I said, ‘Why are you thinking about that? You’ve got relief syndrome.'”
One of the leading causes of relief syndrome is the praise and outside noise from the media. Thursday, Saban told host Pat McAfee a unique method that he used to help his players block out the outside noise.
“On Friday I put a circle on the board,” Saban outlined. “And then I put a smaller circle inside that circle. And then I put a rectangle inside the second circle and I said, and I colored it in red, and I said, ‘This is what matters, what happens on the field. All this gray area between these two circles, that’s all the external noise and all the external things that you can focus on and think about that’s not going to help you play better, it’s not going to help us get where we want to get. So let’s focus on what we do on the field.'”
Alabama is still a contender for the SEC championship as well as a spot in the College Football Playoffs. The Crimson Tide will need to block out the external noise and the relief syndrome to get there.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is an early 11 a.m. CT kickoff at Kentucky.
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