The difference between a trained and an untrained team is evident at any level of competition.
A team that is trained displays great discipline. Disciplined teams commit very few penalties. Discipline means maintaining focus and controlling one’s passion. It is important that a team’s passion to perform well does not turn to fury when adversity strikes.
A team that is untrained will show fits of anger and frustration either on the field of competition or on the sideline. Pushing, punching, shoving opponents, slamming a helmet and screaming at a coach or teammate are some examples of an untrained team or player.
Well-trained teams execute the game plan and their specific plays with precision.
Offensive teams that are highly-trained rarely have observable instances of miscommunication or confusion. Quarterbacks frustrated at the lack of precise routes or pass protection breakdowns are rare with well-trained teams.
Defensive units that are well-trained will show a constant level of intensity and pursuit to the ball. They communicate efficiently and are scholarly in their knowledge of game situations. All well-trained teams are problem solvers on the sideline between series, not problem makers.
Another sign of well-trained teams is the speed in which they play before and after the snap. Highly-trained teams get in and out of the huddle quickly without confusion or lack of focus and rhythm. Defensive units get the plays in from the sideline quickly. On an occasional late play call, the defensive signal caller is educated enough in the game plan to handle it on the field.
Untrained teams will have players looking to call attention to themselves at any opportunity during, before, or after the play. No team is perfect, but the best trained teams have few demonstrations of selfishness. Outbursts of frustration at not getting the ball happens on offensive units that are untrained. Defensive players ignoring their assignment and doing their own technique or tactic is selfish and an indicator of an untrained defensive unit.
Whether a team is trained or untrained is directly related to leadership. Leadership starts with the head coach and filters down to the rest of the coaching staff. Poor leadership can occur at any level. Coaching DOES make a difference.
The teams that are the best trained perform at a high-level week in and week out. They always play to win but do not fear a loss. Trained teams show up for competition every game and are willing to give their best. Untrained teams play with passion one week and are nowhere to be found the next.
As you watch your favorite team this season, look for the signs of trained and untrained teams to get an idea of future championship teams and coaches!