The Sideline View: Focus on the new, not the old

Collegiate sports may have more talent involved than high school sports, but the two are similar in one regard.  Seldom does either bring back the entire team for a second season.

In high school, players quit or move like in college when players quit or transfer to another school.

And there’s something else the two share, the dreaded graduation day(s) that’s been breaking teams at USI for over 50 years.

The coaching staff barely gets to see seniors reach the beginning of adulthood before they’re out the door and onto the next phase of their lives.

The only thing the departing players can do is hope to instill some institutional memory, or as it is often put by coaches “establish a culture.”

That’s the standard operating procedure the upperclassmen and coaching staff expect from the younger players: to live up to this “culture.” The kind of stuff that’s been drilled into their heads every practice over the course of four years.

But oftentimes it’s better to approach turnover of players with the cliche “out with the old, in with the new.”

This is due to turnover being inevitable. Each player only has four years of eligibility barring a medical redshirt (i.e. the six years Jordan Shipley had at UT because he was oft injured during his time there).

The new seniors on the team shouldn’t dwell on how great last year’s point guard or catcher was before they graduated. Instead, they should mentor and embrace this year’s catcher and ease up on this season’s point guard, even if their assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t great. The team is stuck with them for the season, and they can only get better with coaching.