Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Pressure or Opportunity — Ascending the Big Stage
Michigan football is a big deal, renown and successful. As with any high profile athletic program, certain players and certain positions will, like a magnet, attract attention and scrutiny. This is the big stage and thousands of football players dream of ascending to future glory.
Once there, some athletes seize the opportunity, do well, and literally have the time of their lives. But others do not like the spotlight and criticism that any errors on the big stage bring about.
The big stage has an emotional attachment. Usually, success is defined as the thrill of victory, and failure is linked to defeat. Those who venture onto the big stage need to understand that tough times do not last, but tough people do.
The big stage syndrome barely affects some, instead the joy of playing overcomes all, and the support derived from the support staff (coaches and others) is sufficient to overcome the negatives of the stage. Other big stage players are not as fortunate.
How the player views the big stage is critical. Some see the stage as a pressure cooker, and some see it as a great opportunity filled with electrical excitement.The high level athlete that succeeds has supreme confidence, even in situations that some would consider as potentially hostile This player loves the spotlight. The player may be egotistical or humble, however, again, there is supreme confidence.
The football version of the Michigan hot stove league this winter, spring, and summer centered on how Devin Gardner would do on the big stage. There is simply no beforehand answer that is anything more than a pure guess.
There are factors to consider that may tend to shift and opinion to one side or the other. Devin has waited his time, he is eager for the big stage, and for the most part enjoyed his late 2013 run after Denard’s injury. In short, he is prepared. Devin, by his new role as offensive leader, is the lead actor on the offensive stage and fully invested in the upcoming opera. He is bright and has found a new work ethic. Devin has athletic talent sufficient to rise to the top.Devin appears to have that quiet confidence that some call quite arrogance. He is not remotely obnoxious or loud of mouth, instead going the controlled and humble path. He is, however, confident and willing to audition before the football world.
These inner world constructs are important for success on the big stage and make the difference from a mental standpoint. The item that a big stage quarterback cannot control is the surrounding cast. But this opera appears to have picked up some supporting talent.
Soon we will all get to watch and judge for ourselves.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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