April 21, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The key to success for spring football practice is to not attempt to do too much. There are only 15 practices allowed in the spring. By trying to do a lot of things and trying to implement a lot of things, a team may not get any better. In fact, a team may not become proficient at anything because of the limited practices.

This spring, we have tried to be really specific with what we are trying to get out of spring practice. The first priority for us has been identifying some young players to help this team. This is the time for an individual to improve.

The spring is about finding the pieces of the puzzle, which you can put together for a successful season in the fall. You have to be careful to try and not do too many things because there is not enough time.

In the spring, motivation is not a problem. In fact, motivation for us is the easiest part. The biggest motivator for this team is the way we ended the season. Last year’s record is what is motivating the team this spring.

Another motivating factor is the level of competition we have at the different positions. There are a lot of players that want the opportunity to play come this fall.

The third thing motivating this team is the attitude of the players. Every player approaches these practices by trying to become the best player he can be. The whole team has this attitude and with such a positive feeling at practice, motivation has not really been a problem at all.

Spring practices are closed to the public again this year, which is in the best interest of the players and the coaches. It is best because there is so much evaluation of Notre Dame football. Spring is too early for there to be analysis on where this team stands. It isn’t fair to the players and coaches for people to be out there evaluating the team at this point. The fall is the time for people to begin to evaluate the team.

The spring is the time to try things out as a football team. Practices are closed not so much to keep things from our opponents but to try to keep people from evaluating the team at this early stage. The spring is the time for this team to make improvement, which we are definitely doing.