Captain's Corner: Preseason Anxiety

What's going through the players' minds as they prepare for the start of the season? In today's Captain's Corner, Jerry Rudzinski talks a bit about what the players are thinking as the final days wind down before the start of practice. Read on for more.

The players feel the anxiety of another pressure-filled season being right around the corner. The team traditionally gets some time off before camp opens. Players go home to relax and get away from one another. Once it gets started in August, it doesn't stop for a real long time. It's fun, but it can be stressful.

From veterans to rookies, all groups get that feeling in the stomach. Will this hamstring make it through camp? Will I get enough reps with the number ones to showcase my ability? How good is this transfer? How good is this USA Today High School All-American? What if this position group doesn't step up for our defense? What if I get hurt my senior season? What if we lose a game and let down the fans, alumni, former players, and coaches?

I think it's healthy. Many might argue, "Those are thoughts for losers. Vision success…not failure." That is a good argument. We don't want people dwelling on these issues. However, I think it is normal and healthy to have some of these thoughts in your mind. You get in trouble when you don't appreciate your health and take care of yourself. You get in trouble when you don't play with the sense of urgency of a guy fighting for playing time. You get in trouble when you think you can just roll the helmets on the field for an automatic victory.

Comfort and complacency are the biggest enemy to an OSU or USC or Miami. It doesn't bother me that the players feel some nerves right now. I'd be bothered if they didn't have any nerves.

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