Monday, April 21, 2014

Charlie Strong Doesn't Pull Any Punches (but should have) Talking About Next Year's Team

Charlie Strong is not pulling any punches during his first season with the Texas Longhorns. He has a tough task ahead of him. The once proud program that has contended for national titles in the not to distant past has some work ahead of it--just like any program does. To get back to the point will take work--and time.

During his 'Comin' on Strong'  speaking tour he is making sure people understand that.

Since arriving in Austin Strong has not hesitated to tell it like he sees it and do what he thinks needs to get done. As far as the players go, if they like it and jump on board he is going to mold them in to the best player and team they can be.

Fair statement, right? That's pretty much what is expected of coaches in all sports and at all levels, but it is also something that is forgotten the closer players get to the professional ranks. Parents especially have to be glad to see that is his focus.

However, what may have some fans, donors, and players upset is how he qualified his expectation as to what the team is capable of next season.

To be fair to Strong that is a pretty safe comment to say. Making the national championship game is extremely tough for even the most talented and veteran squads. He has some talent on the team, but not enough to realistically call it a national title caliber squad.

So what's wrong with stating what should be obvious to everyone?

As a coach he knows how important brutal truth is to his players, but he should also know how important confidence is. Players need to believe that they can shoot for the stars and the coach needs to be telling them that.

He doesn't--he shouldn't--tell them they will not make the national title game. That screams "your good, but not good enough."

What Strong should have done is said that they will contend for or win the conference championship next season. The last one they won was in 2009 and in spite of their shortcomings last season still had a shot.

Building that up rather than tearing down national title aspirations--as unrealistic as they are--would have been smarter.

No one would have been offended, no feathers would have been ruffled, and no egos stepped on.

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