Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had an, um, interesting way to get his team motivated for the 2016 season.
Freeze said Monday that he staged a mock funeral for himself as a way of getting his team to recognize how to work for the results they want. Here’s his entire explanation, which starts at approximately 7:30 of the clip below.
I created a funeral scene for me and showed it to all our players. And the whole purpose is understanding that whatever you believe drives your behaviors and your behaviors drive your performance and your performance will give you some result. And we need to work backwards. This is the result I really want, now are my beliefs and are my behaviors going to get me my result.
So I created my funeral scene. And a lot of that had to do with the events of this past few weeks, it’s coming. It happens. We don’t know when it happens but we won’t cheat death. And so I wrote on the screen here at our commitment service, ‘This is the result I want at my funeral.’ This is what I want my wife to say about me. This is what I want my kids to say about me. This is what I want my players to say about me. This is what I want my parents to say about me. And really, the rest of the people are probably, no offense, but insignificant. But is this what they’d say about me today? And if not, I have time to make sure my beliefs that are creating my behaviors are going to get me the result I want. And it’s the same way with a team. The same way with football players. What result do you want? Now are your behaviors going to get you there?
It’s hard to avoid the specter of possible NCAA sanctions against Ole Miss in Freeze’s comments. The Rebels have self-imposed sanctions in response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations against the school. The allegations include improper benefits from a member of the coaching staff as well as assistance on the ACT to recruits from former assistants.
Ole Miss has also asked the NCAA to delay the hearing against the school as more investigating is done following the Laremy Tunsil draft-night fiasco (in which, among other things, Tunsil seemingly admitted he accepted benefits from the school).
Freeze has said he owns the allegations against Ole Miss but that he wasn’t in the loop regarding any illicit activity. He has also previously defined Ole Miss’ issues as “mistakes” rather than cheating. It’s hard to say if anyone in the “insignificant” realm would also make the same classification at a hypothetical Freeze funeral held this week, but the next 12-18 months could go a long way to determining how many outsiders view the Rebels football program
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