Over the past thirteen weeks, I have written about how this team just looks different. Every week throughout the season a couple different players stepped up and took control of the game. Whether it was Julian Love, Drue Tranquill, Ian Book, Jafar Armstrong, Te’Von Coney, recently Tony Jones Jr and Alohi Gilman. Each one of these student-athletes had a moment that changed the outcome of the game. Each one contributing to the 12-0 record of Team 130.
Before we can talk about what the Missing Element being found, there is a need to go back in time. Last year when I was writing for another group, I Wrote a story on “What Is The Missing Element?” Let’s take a look at an excerpt from that article. The article was written December 7th of last year.
“For the last couple weeks, the fanatics have once again been calling for Coach Kelly to be let go. The decision to let a head coach go is just not that simple. The head coach position requires the ability to understand the workings of an offense and defense, it also requires the ability to lead and educate a team of young men to work as a team and to go out and “Play Like A Champion” on any Saturday afternoon. The head coach must have a passion for the game and a passion to win. The head coach must also be a leader and be a teacher of the game.”
“When you look back at Notre Dame football history, the teachers of the game won National Championships. Those teachers of the game were Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Holtz. Rockne, Leahy and Parseghian are considered the “Holy Trinity” of Head Coaches at Notre Dame. These four particular coaches had an ability to motivate their players and reach football supremacy.”
The article ended with “The one thing that ties all of these coaches together is their ability to motivate their players to just not win, but to become students of the game, believe in the Notre Dame Value Stream, and the want to excel on the field on a Saturday afternoon. So in the end, if the Irish are to go back to their winning ways of National Championships past, Coach Kelly must look into each of these coaches past and look at how they coached, mentored their players, and taught them to get ready for GameDay.”
After each game the players give you such an insight into what’s going on inside the team during the week.
Coach Kelly Press Conference After Syracuse
The Missing Element
In doing research for this article I did not just find one missing element, actually I found another. Let’s start with the players. This was a surprise. As coach eluded to, these guys love each other. You need to have a feeling of “I will go to battle for you” in order to have success. These guys play for each other, they believe in each other. As I heard in a post game press conference, there is no “blame game” going in the locker room. When someone is down, they pick them up. When something goes wrong they discuss it. That is essential in developing a winning team mentality.
As discussed in the “past” portion of the article. The article ends with “Coach Kelly must look into each of these coaches past and look at how they coached, mentored their players, and taught them to get ready for GameDay.” The missing element was all about being around the players. Not just on the practice field, in team meetings, but in the weight room and having dinners with them. Relationships are essential in any line of work. When a relationship is built, and you cultivate it, magic can happen. Investing personal time into his players lives has had a major return on investment.
The Wrap Up
The team has developed a “trust in the process” mentality. This coupled with the time the players are investing in each other on and off the field and their love for Notre Dame, has given this team a skies the limit possibilities. For now, lets enjoy the moment, lets revel in the magic that this team has created. In return, show them the support that they deserve. They don’t just play for each other, as the players say “they play for the greatest fans in the country.”
Cheers and Go Irish ☘⚡🏈