Culture club

Scooter Hobbs column: Kelly’s plan for a new cultural club – American Press

Maybe by mid-August, LSU fans will be tired of hearing the word.

But probably not.

Either way, Brian Kelly’s new diet has eliminated a key element as spring practice begins.

The Tigers have their new rallying cry, or tagline, if you will, for coaching transition.

He already dominates the spring training chatter more than the quarterback battle royale.

So, without further ado and only a muffled drum roll, get ready for…

“Responsibility.” With a capital “A”.

So this is the ticket? Kelly takes care of everything.

For now, at least, fans are going to enjoy it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is as important to the fans as it is to the team, although the players certainly have to play the game for this routine to work.

And they are.

LSU has kind of missed this coaching change ritual lately.

Ed Orgeron arrived mid-season as an interim, needed no introduction to the team or the fandom, so he was no stranger full of new ideas in the offseason.

The Miles replaced Nick Saban, and no self-respecting fan saw anything back then that really needed fixing.

But this time it has already started.

Early spring reports are, predictably, dominated by the “night and day” difference in workouts. Players marvel at the new sharpness, improved efficiency, all credited to the new…responsibility.

Night and day, it is said, compared to the old regime.

Fans are loving it, thrilled that Kelly has seemingly cracked the code to invent a better mousetrap.

The centerpiece is Kelly’s new SWAT group, which stands for Spring/Summer Workout Accountability Team. SSWAT would look like a typo and sound like a lisp, but you can’t leave out the “summer” part because those semi-inactive months seem to have the most snafus potential off the field.

Almost all teams have something similar. Clearly, this is usually referred to as a board of directors or another, often a small group of trusted players who act as a sounding board and close confidant – communication, essentially – between coaches and players aged 18 to 22 years old. .

The general idea is to prevent these 18 to 22 year olds from being young morons.

Kelly’s version, however, seems to be a bit more organized than most. He brought the SSWAT model with him from Notre Dame.

The number may vary, but in this case the staff chose 10 players to serve as leaders.

The 10 of them had a draft in which each player was ultimately chosen by one of them and the draft was responsible for their “team”. On and off the pitch.

These teams within the team are in a way competing for the atta boys and the gold stars, as much or more off the field than on it.

There is a scoreboard that counts at the end of each week, theoretically with one team proudly winning and no team wanting to trail.

There are, of course, also plenty of ways to get points deducted.

So if a guy on your team takes a knee or puts his hand on his hips during practice (another new no-nos from Kelly), a teammate is likely to skip his case before a coach has to get away with it. imply.

That might make up for good grades for showing up on time for dawn conditioning.

And don’t even think about missing a class or study hall. Checking in to the Nutrition Center earns you brownie points, while skipping it assumes you’re at a fast food Burger Doodle, another no-no.

You can’t let your team down. Peer pressure at its best.

Again, a lot of coaches have something similar, including Orgeron, although it might not have been so clearly defined.

Basically, whatever form it takes, it’s about creating a healthy team “culture” or “chemistry.”

Next to talent, chemistry is probably neck and neck with “coaching” as the second most important key to winning big in college.

There is no one way to skin a cat. LSU has won three famous national championships with its last three coaches — and I challenge you to find three more different personalities and philosophies than Nick Saban, Uncle Les and Coach O.

But give Kelly credit, at least he has a plan.

And it’s really up to the coaches to create that team culture – at least the years when you don’t have Joe Burrow.


Hobbs Scooter covers LSU athletics. Email him at [email protected]