Thursday, August 14, 2008
With the first two weeks of practice almost done, this season really seems to be shaping up well for Nate. Last year he came onto a team that of 28 guys as one of only a couple who hadn't played Panthers football before. As a Dad, it was tough to watch him struggle to learn the fundamentals like the stances, positions, blocking and tackling. It so hard to watch him try and figure things out and watching him get so frustrated with his progress. He would push himself hard, but being a relatively small rookie on a team where everyone knew each other and had played together, it wasn't always enough. His coach last year stressed fundamentals and Nate played at defensive back most of the time, taking a back-seat to the more senior guys on the team. Last year has paid off and he's going into this season being one of the older guys on a team of 5th and 6th graders.
Nate began getting ready for the season about a month before this year, with he and I doing daily workouts of about 30-45 minutes each. We did running, jumping, strength and stamina conditioning and got him in even better shape that last year and it's paid off. Watching Nate, he seems to be in some of the best shape out there. He's always out front when the team runs laps and is able to crank through the conditioning they do without a problem.
He's been going at things this year with a new confidence based on the kind of shape and technique he's got. Watching the tackling drills and running plays are night and day difference from from last year. I've heard the coaches call him out a number of times for his technique and hard work out there. He's more focused than I've ever seen him and tries to always be the guy who puts in the extra effort and goes the extra mile. I'm so proud that Nate pushed through a tough year last year and worked so hard to prep for this year. The most important part is that he really loves every aspect of the game: watching, practicing and playing. It's cool to have this to do together.