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By LEE ANN HERRING-OLVEDO
Teamwork isn’t simple. Rather, it can be infuriating, intangible commodity. That’s why more often than not so many teams out there find themselves fixed in neutral or going downhill fast. Triumph doesn’t appear magically just because someone desires it to be true. It doesn’t prosper just because of the existence of talent or ambition. It will not flourish purely because a team has savored success or stood in the barrel of defeat.
In the highest levels of competition you need not only players but coaches that can bring out the ambition, power, cooperation and emotion to change the growth within each team and each individual that can equate to a team’s overall success in the long haul.
From the moment we hired our WRs and Pass Game Coordinator Pat Washington. I knew the offense that had struggled so much in past years would have the potential to be risen from the dead under a coach like Washington. He brings a dynamic that most attempt to emulate but few master in that he nurtures the mental game just as much as the physical game in his players.
In various occasions of observing his coaching and speaking with him it is clear that his importance is the overall development of players from start to finish. Really getting them to understand the playbook but most importantly translate that on the field. He coaches these kids to come to play and have their head in the game because if your head is not in the game the physicality won’t be there.
Washington has managed to bring this receiving core to new dynamics and re-ignite the talent of the returners as well as help to develop the young players into a vibrant bunch. It’s not that talent hasn’t been there for us in years past, but sometimes you need a coach who can formulate an identity which Washington has managed to do in a short time.
This is credit to his strong foundation in this conference not only as a former player but a coach which allows the Cats to capitalize from. Washington’s ties in other programs outside the SEC also allows for expansion not just in the playbook but most importantly the recruiting trail which Kentucky could use some help especially to create a balance depth.
Coach Washington has a lot to showcase down the road but from what we have seen the last couple weeks and what I have seen in Pre-Season I know this receiving core will continue to be on fire and lead the Cats to some more success.
It may be too early to say but if we need a future head coach in waiting Pat Washington is on my short list. We need a type of coach who is not going to be comfortable with a one sided operating team. We need someone who can be aggressive mentally and physically on both sides of the ball and know what it takes to win the battles game in game out!
Tiger Woods used to say, “I have a big-picture outlook, I am willing to fall, and I understand it’s ok to fall, but I am going to get back up, I may take a step back, but in the end, I am going to take a giant leap forward”.
Coach Washington recognizes the importance of looking at both the macro and micro instances in the evolution of developing his players that have been the key in opening more opportunities for this Cats teams to achieve success. However, one of the key assets he has brought to his players is the mental game I like that he challenges this team to rise to certain levels but most importantly he gets them to believe in what they are doing and who they are playing for.
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”