Weis pushes players, uses tough coaching
- Aug. 28, 2012
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Six days out of the week, coach Charlie Weis will berate his players. He’ll get in their face, in their heads, argue — and ultimately win the argument — push their buttons and coach until his schemes are mastered and substitutions are flawless.
On the seventh day, he’ll call the plays with a demeanor as positive and energetic as a sophomore during syllabus week.
Weis said that if one of his players made a “boneheaded mistake” — an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, for example — his wrath would return. However, the attitude switch isn’t a hoax, or trap, to later punish his players for saying something in a comfortable setting. It’s genuine Charlie Weis.
Despite how intense the Jayhawks’ coach can be, the kicking and screaming routine has no place in his Saturday approach.
“I coach them hard in practice so when the time comes, the games are easier,” Weis said.
The philosophy is rather simple: Weis has all week to get his players ready for game day. There’s nothing more he can, should or will do once the opening kickoff takes place. So he won’t.
Weis will call the offensive plays, encourage his players, pat them on the back, and allow his team to enjoy the game, but raising his voice will depend on the sound level at Memorial Stadium — and the officiating and “bonehead” plays.
“On game day, it’s about the players,” senior quaterback Dayne Crist said. “It isn’t about him yelling at us or trying to get us motivated, because if you’re not motivated at that point, there’s nothing he can do on the sideline to adjust that.”
Crist and senior tight end Mike Ragone have already seen Weis’ philosophy first hand during their time at Notre Dame. The result, Ragone said, is a team in which the players hold themselves accountable on the field and are ready to compete by kickoff.
“It’s like letting the dogs out,” Ragone said. “He’s hard on us, hard on us, hard on us and then on Saturday it’s our time to step up.”
The players said the pace hasn’t changed in practice since camp opened on Aug. 1. Making the players sick of playing against their own in scrimages is part of the process of building a team.
But Crist says the shouting in practice isn’t for nothing, it’s to coach up players, get his point across and search out the best in the team.
“He’s preparing us to be relaxed when we go out there and play,” Ragone said.
On the seventh day, Charlie Weis will be composed and comfortable; he’s got the other six to get himself worked up.
“I’m usually very calm and cool and even if they are nervous,” Weis said. “They usually follow your lead.”
— Edited by Allison Kohn