Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life as a coach - Mark Fox

Having been a coach (soccer) since I was 14 I am sometimes harder on coaches than others and other times I am much easier on them. I tend to look at how a team plays and the big picture more so than an individual play, or call. One of the biggest times I can remember a decision of mine backfiring on me was when I was coaching at a small school in Valdosta, GA. We had just qualified for the state semi-finals and had our last day that we could really go hard and I had a choice to make. We could do some running and along with some light work or we could have a very tough practice to try to prepare us for the game. I chose to go with a tough practice knowing I was risking injury but feeling like we needed to challenge ourselves as our run through the playoffs had been surprisingly easy up to that point, winning games by an average of 6 goals. My choice worked out great until about 5 minutes before the end of practice when our top scorer got his ankle rolled challenging for a ball. He was still able to play the game a few days later but was not close to being 100%. The team was never itself in the whole game and we lost the game. I will never know if the teams spirit was down at its best player being injured or not.
Mark Fox is taking a lot of heat for calling a time out in yesterday's game against Alabama when the timeout he called cost UGA the win. If the shot had ended up an air ball then the timeout would have been great, instead it ended up made and the timeout took away what would have been the game winner.
When Richt was guiding his team to a last minute comeback against UT in his first season in Athens his calm demeanor was considered a huge asset as a head coach. When he was leading UGA to 2 SEC titles in 4 years his steady hand was seen as a big reason why. The bad things that happened never got to him and so his teams didn't panic. Now that he had his first losing season in ten years that same calm steady demeanor is considered by many to be a glaring weakness because he shows no fire.
I say all this just to make a simple point that many know but that our emotions often let us forget, the difference between winning and losing is often so slim that 1 play in 100 will decide the game. Sometimes the game is decided by a ref spotting a ball to where his left foot is when it should be spotted to where his right foot is. Coaches and players will, and should, be judged on wins and losses but often we as fans over react to one moment when we should take time to look at the big picture and judge them on that. As for me, I am judging Fox on where the team is now, versus where they were when he took over. Make the NCAA tourny or settle for the NIT, I know that the basketball team is in much better hands under Fox than they have been at anytime since Tubby Smith left.


  1. Great blog site. Very impressed. Hope you get more Dawg Fans.

    I will try to put out the word over at SCM.


  2. Thanks for the compliment and putting the word out, love to see what others have to say. What's the site for SCM, would love to check it out.

  3. Lots of dawgfans over there. NCBulldawg, Fiasco, Tranzam, Dawgfan 59, Dawgggy, ugaltien, Athens and bry once in a while.

    Go to Sadovin's Corner Market, get yourself a password and join in. Similar to TBDPITL but a few less folks. Lots of SEC guys. BTB is there as well.