NORMAN — Coach Todd Watters is slightly frustrated. Since Moore ended the 2012 season with a 2-8 record in football, Watters has attempted to get across to the team that winning is not some complicated formula that only a few programs have access to.
“Bottom line, there is no secret to winning,” Watters said. “I’ve been to Jenks football practice, I’ve been to Ada and other places that win year in and year out. There is no secret. They don’t break out the magic pixie dust. It’s just a matter of working your tail off, paying attention to detail in the way you execute and give great effort.”
However, message hasn’t sunk in to the entire team just yet. With the first day of practice set for Aug. 12, the offseason is almost over and a portion of the Lions may have wasted it, according to Watters.
“We are still not where we need to be in our commitment to winning,” Watters said. “We still don’t know what it takes to win. There’s a reason why they’ve been 0-10 and 2-8. The kids and the parents do not understand the commitment that it takes in the weight room. We have about 40 to 50 kids that we can’t run them off. They are going to be here, they are going to work and do the things I ask them. But in 6A football you have to have more than that. We just have to be a little bit more consistent in our understanding of what it takes to win, our commitment to the work ethic that winning requires.”
When Watters took over the Moore program last year, he said then that changing the atmosphere of losing was his first priority. He said it has been a process and the team has made strides in that regard.
Yet, Watters was hoping to see more during the offseason and summer months ,when they don’t have the incentive of a game to look forward to each week. That’s when games and titles are won, when nobody is looking, according to Watters.
“Discipline, work ethic and effort, that’s all winning is,” Watters said. “That doesn’t show up on the X-Box. And that’s what our kids are raised on. There’s no discipline, no effort buttons on X-Box. It’s frustrating to me because I know how simple it is to go win. You have to outwork your opponent, put your team before yourself and play with fanatical effort. That’s really not that difficult when you speak it and put it on paper. But it is when you haven’t been raised that way or taught that way and you’ve been led to believe something different.”
Watters said he has been pleased with the work ethic with the majority of the team. They have come to workouts and done what they were supposed to each day.
But he knows in order for the Lions to once again compete in class 6A, it takes much more effort than the players have been used to giving in the past.
“A lot of our athletes, their parents didn’t play,” Watters said. “They don’t understand the work ethic required and how hard it is. If we have a dad who played the game and worked his tail off, his son isn’t going to quit. His son is going to do the same things his dad expects of him, as long as they have a good relationship ship. Dad is gong to make him do what’s right. Dad is going to make him be tough. Dad is going to make sure he’s masculine. I think our society is making our young men less masculine these days. Men are supposed to be the work-your-bone-into-the-ground type. They are too-tough-for-anything-to-bother type of thing. I just think it’s a different time and we have to teach kids that mentality.”
Despite that, Watters is looking forward to the start of football season. The majority of his squad puts in the work every day in order to get better.
“We are making strides and gains,” Watters said. “We’re getting stronger, we’re getting faster. We are still not to the level of a Jenks or maybe a Norman North. But we are making our gains. Our frustration is we want to go win a state championship. That’s where it stems from.”
Follow me @eyeamtruth