NORFOLK, Va. — One-oh-one. That's one of Norfolk State football coach Dawson Odums mantras as the Spartans take the field Friday for their first day of practice.
The first "one" stands for 1-0, Odums goal for the Spartans daily record and a reminder to stay in the moment. "All we talk about is out working yesterday, win today, so everything is about right now," says Odums, his team warming up behind him with an actual football for the first time this summer. June and July offseason workouts are permitted, but no ball is allowed.
It's easy to bring great energy on that first day after a long summer of training and conditioning, but maintaining that energy throughout camp can be more challenging. The "oh" comes in handy for that part. The "oh" is actually a zero, zero negativity to be exact. That's the mindset Odums hopes his players bring to the field each day. Especially as the temperature rises and the games remain far in the future.
The final "one" stands for one percent better. That's the minimum amount Odums expects to improve on day 1 of practice and every day that follows.
The key to executing the mantra, Odums says, is less about speed, strength or x's and o's, it's 100% mental. "Execution, that should never be a problem because it's all about the mental part of it. That's what you wanna see in camp, it's about you mental toughness because you know every day you got long meetings you got practice, but every day you're in charge of things you can control and that's giving it your all on this field."