“How in the world are their sticks so rusty!? It’s like they haven’t picked up a stick since Thanksgiving!”
“I run faster backwards! Boy, are we out of shape. I can’t believe all that hard work this fall has disappeared!”
“How is it they don’t remember anything from the fall!?!”
“All of us are going on a team diet! No more fruitcakes!” (ok that’s probably not a real quote…)
Winter break is an anxious time as a coach. You never quite know just how your players will return. We work so hard in the fall to implement discipline, build strength and fitness, and hone foundational skills that we hope and pray our players will carry with them into winter break. Not just carry with them, but work on and build upon over winter break. Some players do, some don’t. The teams that can commit themselves to becoming better individually over the break, allow us to become even better as a team when they return.
I am happy to say - message delivered. The Bears have returned with a newfound sense of drive and execution that we don’t normally see this soon in the season. That makes me excited about what the season may hold for us. We’ve been focused and sharp every day so far and we’ve really been able to get better as a team staying true to our “one day better” mantra.
We have our first tests of the spring this weekend at Stanford where we’ll take on conference foes St Marys, UC Davis, Fresno and host Stanford in the Stanford Play Day. This will give us both an early look at some of our opponents this season, but more importantly, a look at ourselves. As good as we’ve been at practice, we have to be able to show up on game day and put our best foot forward. We’ve struggled to do that consistently so far this year. While I feel great about where we are as a team, you don’t win a conference championship during practice. Good practices merely set the stage. Sunday it’s showtime!
9:00 a.m. Cal vs SMC
11:20 a.m. Cal vs Fresno State
12:30 p.m. Cal vs Stanford
2:50 p.m. Cal vs UC Davis