The Crimson Tide have had some success lately with a huge win at Texas A&M in which Jalen Milroe threw for over 300 yards. However, head football coach Nick Saban knows that even success can be harmful if players let it go to their heads.
“Success can be an enemy to us all,” Saban said on his weekly appearance on his radio show “Hey Coach.” “It’s human nature to think we should get rewarded when we have success. “I did well, so what do I get for it?”
Saban has stressed the importance of not getting complacent no matter how much recent success this team has had. His solution to avoiding complacency starts with bringing energy to practice and preparing correctly.
“You can’t allow this lack of energy to persist because you’re complacent and you’re not paying attention to detail, you’re not preparing correctly,” Saban said. “Goes back to the concept of poise, confidence and execution. Those come from great preparation, which requires great energy throughout the week. They can’t rep every possible call, so players need to be adaptable in games and do it on principle by preparing well. Players have to understand that.”
Saban firmly believes that how you play in practice is how you play on Saturdays. Many times, Alabama has much more talent than their opponent and can overcome mistakes, but this year is different. Bad habits in practice eventually spill over to game day.
Besides the bad habits, Saban said his biggest concern for players is the outside noise from the news and social media platforms. Earlier Thursday, Saban made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” and McAfee kept telling him that the Crimson Tide are a 20-point favorite Saturday. Saban highlighted that his players hear those kinds of comments, and it affects them psychologically.
“I think the big thing we fight is what these guys hear externally and how they are affected externally.”
“Man, I’m telling you. These phones. Social media. I mean — people in this day and age, in this generation, they get a lot of positive self-gratification from what other people think. So you want people to be motivated internally in terms of what they want to accomplish, what they want to do, how much value they want to create for themselves by controlling the things they can control and do it well but yet all these things out here affect how they do it.”
Saban finished the show by sending a similar message to the fans.
“You need to raise your energy level. Every game is important,” he said. “...We need to create a great atmosphere for homecoming. These players have worked hard, and they need your support and help to be able to continue to grow and develop.”
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