Army recently completed its first spring practice under new head coach Jeff Monken. ArmySports.com…
Army 2013 Review: Energy Into Excellence
LULLS, LIFTS, AND LOCKING IN: COMPETITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 101
If you've been watching Wimbledon tennis the past few days or weeks, you might have noticed that when a big quarterfinal or semifinal match ends, the crowd disperses to get some refreshment and decompress from the experience, especially if a star player was involved, and even more especially if a star player was knocked out of the tournament.
When the second match on the same court begins, you will often see that half of the seats are empty. The crowd is late in returning to its seats. Taking a break matters more to many paying customers than remaining bolted to a seat for what could be six or seven hours. When the players in a second quarterfinal or second semifinal take the court, they do so with very little surrounding energy in the arena. When such a circumstance occurs, they have to create their own energy and be sure that they don't get sucked into the vacuum of quietude that pervades the environment… at least until the crowd comes back.
Playing games away from home can sometimes be rousing, especially in the case of a visit to Air Force. Playing a neutral-site game against Navy is never an occasion in which Army has to worry about motivation. Yet, this team plays enough games in sleepy surroundings (Temple, Hawaii, Boston College, Ball State) that it is familiar with the challenge of generating its own internal sources of motivation. One very striking pair of statistics shows why Army has to improve in this specific part of competition in 2014.
When the website cfbstats.com broke down the tackles for loss category, it showed that in Army's seven road or neutral-site games from last season, the Black Knights' defense registered 29 tackles for loss. In Army's nine losses, the team collected 39 tackles for loss. Those are both averages of fewer than 4.5 TFLs per game, an average of roughly one TFL per quarter. Just as a point of comparison, Army averaged 5.8 TFLs in home games (29 in 5 games) and 6.33 in wins (19 in 3). The differentials in TFLs were rather significant.
Tactics and strategies have their place in football, and surely, Jeff Monken will try to give his defense the best chance to succeed. Yet, there is an art to playing well on the road, to the process of carrying yourself with a better competitive mentality. This is something Army must try to figure out, find, and keep as the 2014 season develops.
ArmySports.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Recap
Dr. Roto watched all of Sunday's action and has compiled for you a recap of all the Fantasy comings and goings. Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson (pictured above) may have solidified himself as the team…Read More
Scout College Football Top 30- Week Thirteen
The top 30 teams in college football after Week Thirteen...Read More
Outdoorsman's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014
Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.Read More
Scout's ACC All-Century Team
There have been so many great basketball players in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2000, but which have been the very best? We break down the Player of the Century, Best Coach, Best Freshman, and…Read More
The First Thanksgiving: 10 Myths and Facts
The story of the first Thanksgiving is filled with folklore and legend. But what’s the real story? Here are 10 commonly believed myths about the First Thanksgiving debunked.Read More