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Author Topic: First & 10 | Advice from Coach O'Shea  (Read 1045 times)
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« on: October 03, 2020, 04:30:20 PM »

First & 10 | Advice from Coach O'Shea - Ed Tait

There's a straightforwardness to Mike O'Shea that some in the media - especially those around him for the first time - can find as startling as a cold shower in January.

We see it occasionally - check that... we see it often - in his daily media sessions when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are playing, as he steers clear of detailing anything about game plans, about personnel or roster decisions, about the tendencies of opponents and even about his own hall-of-fame career.

And so in that respect, the Bombers' head coach is as consistent as a metronome in never ever straying from his own script. Some may also call it robotic or dull, yet it's all part of his working to maintain any kind of competitive edge.

Still, we should not mistake that approach as an indication that he is cold or uncaring, and I was reminded of that during a long conversation with him this week.

Now, full disclosure here: the initial story premise for my interview with Coach O'Shea was a simple one - to check in for a comment about the expected cuts to the football operations budget and how he and his staff are regrouping since the pandemic led to the cancellation of the Canadian Football League's 2020 season.

He didn't want to go there - at least, publicly - and that became obvious before my first question could even be finished. Instead, what followed was a reminder about how much the game and the people around it mean to him.

Indeed, as much as he may make it seem as such during the season, the business is hardly just about the Xs and Os, the Jimmys and Joes, the wins and the losses to O'Shea.

"I don't think I'm comfortable talking about some of the information that's out there right now," began O'Shea, "because it can make the coaches and other staff uneasy, especially before we have answers for them and what the future might look like.

"The No. 1 thing and the last thing I said to the coaches was, 'While we're playing this waiting game, look after yourselves.' I don't mean it's every man for himself, by any means. But whether it's something you've been meaning to do or take care of, whether it's getting caught up on some things or diving into your personal relationships make sure you take the time to do it.

"Maybe it's about getting back to humanity because during the season, honestly, you go and go and go and you sort of lose track of a lot of other things that you wouldn't normally lose track of in a different lifestyle. Now, we know what we've signed up for, but if you put a bunch of those things together and things that you need to take care of, or should take care of, can get put on the back burner for too long.

"Those are the kind of things I reminded the staff to make sure they utilize this down time for."

O'Shea delivered a similar message to the players when the plug was pulled on the 2020 season - be a........

Read the rest of Ed Tait's article here!
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"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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