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Soccer Poet

A Duck

A Duck

So it’s here. Preseason 2010 has finally, and I do mean FINALLY arrived.

Coach Holeman and I were very excited about coming to UGA when we were hired back in mid-April. We knew we had scored one of the premier gigs in all of college soccer. So we hurried to get packed and get to Athens. Then we got here. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. It was like being 3 months early to your own surprise party. We knew we were going to be coaching a group of very talented players. It was just a matter of when. Well, when came today.

Today the Dawgs, all 32 of them, reported for preseason. The first day is a bit of a drag for the players. I mean let’s face it, what they want to do most of all is get on the field and play. But today it was their turn to wait. Today was one meeting after another with a couple of meals sprinkled in between. They heard from our trainers, our strength coach, our counselor, our compliance officers, our sports information people, two athletic directors and anyone else who helps us do what we do. And of course they also heard from the coaches.

On the first day it is important to establish a theme or themes for the season, and when you’re lucky enough to stumble onto a quote that encapsulates and magnifies your message, you make a point of sharing that quote. You hope it’s something the players will use as a foundation for their season… a safe harbor they can always return to.

Coach Holeman made it very clear that the cornerstone for our year was going to be our work rate. Georgia Soccer has been talented for a very long time, but the program didn’t have much of a reputation as a blue collar franchise. We’re hoping to change that. We need to change that. And if we do, well, then there’s a chance you might see something special this year.

Today’s quote was about a duck. And yes, you read that right. See for yourself:

“There once was a man who carved a duck from a block of wood. When people asked him how he did it, he replied, “Simple. I just got rid of everything that didn’t look like a duck.”

The message was simple. The duck is our standards. And anything that doesn’t meet our standards must be whittled away. We’ve got to change the culture of this team from white collar to blue collar and we need to do it overnight. We need a better duck.

Tomorrow morning we take the field at 9 A.M.

College Soccer 2010 is finally here!

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