Q & A with SHS Head Coach Ken Eldridge
by Emanuel County Live | November 26, 2013 4:25 pm
by TROUP BRINSON
The Swainsboro Tigers endured their third consecutive disappointing football season, finishing 2-8 and being blown out by Dodge County in the season finale, 42-0. With just eight total wins in the past three seasons, Tiger Nation is looking for anything to give hope that the team will return to prominence soon. The only other stretch of three consecutive losing seasons in modern Swainsboro Tiger history was from 1968-1970 when the Tigers accumulated only seven total wins. It is of note that Swainsboro followed that stretch up with an impressive three-year run from 1972-1974 when they only lost four total games.
Despite the recent run of losing seasons, the Tigers boast a middle school team that won the area championship and will be providing the varsity team with a talent infusion soon. Following is the season wrap-up Question and Answer session with Tigers’ head coach Ken Eldridge.
What do you feel the Tigers accomplished this season?
“We actually looked like a team more frequently as the season went along. I feel that we began to understand the importance of hard work and never giving up. We played with more confidence as the season went on. Confidence comes from understanding and accepting expectations. We are trying to teach these young men entirely new schemes, a new vocabulary, a new work ethic, a new approach in the weight room, and most importantly, a belief in themselves.”
I’ve heard coaches talk about being ‘process driven’ rather than ‘results driven’. Talk about your approach and how it helps focus, goals, etc.
“I believe that the day to day operation of the program is the “process”. Being detail oriented sort of gives you tunnel vision which helps you to stay focused on your goals as an individual and team. We try to educate our young men ‘how’ we want things done, but we also want them to understand ‘why’ we want it done that way. I believe that by maintaining focus on the day to day process you can achieve the results you want in the end. Learning the process is the difficult part.”
What were the things that seemed to keep the team from competing on the scoreboard this season?
“It is hard to pin point individual items that kept us from winning more games than we did because there were so many. I am currently doing a self-evaluation trying to analyze any areas of weakness that I need to improve on as a coach to help this program continue to move forward. When taking this job I knew that it was going to be a 3-4 year process to fully implement all phases of my program. A huge step in that implementation process is having a full off season to be able to work with these young men.”