The recent success of Alabama's football program can be traced to its dedication in the offseason.
Tuscaloosa, Ala., is one place where the hunger for football season never ends.
From national signing day through the team’s notoriously tough fourth-quarter drills and into summer conditioning, the Tide’s rigorous offseason training programs have been built with only one goal in mind, according to Steve Eubanks of Fox Sports South—to help prepare the team to overcome any challenges that could arrive on game day.
Considering Saban is grooming his troops for a run at the school’s third consecutive national championship, the "process" has yet to show a chink in its armor.
The main principle of Saban’s system is simple. Earning success comes by working continuously to improve every day.
Every rep in the weight room is the most important one. The same standard applies for summer seven-on-seven drills.
When fall camp begins next week, the next snap on Alabama’s practice field will require the same level of focus that was displayed when linebacker C.J. Mosley tipped Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s red-zone pass to seal a dramatic victory in the final seconds of the SEC title game.
And why would anyone doubt that’s the case?
As Paul Myerberg of USA Today noted, Saban said he’d give himself two days to celebrate after waxing Notre Dame to earn the school’s third crystal football in the last four seasons.
The scary part is whether he actually took all those 48 hours to relax. If there were prop bets in Vegas for his celebration period, the under would be the smart bet.
Saban’s mindset has clearly set the tone for his team.
You're right I'm not at the espy's! I don't have to be at a award show to know what my team did. I'm back at school working to get another— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) July 18, 2013
For example, take a look at senior quarterback AJ McCarron. Instead of attending the ESPYs, McCarron instead chose to lead voluntary workouts in Tuscaloosa.
Although headlines are generated by Alabama’s new cushy facilities, Andrew Gribble of AL.com points out that it’s important not to lose sight of what is transpiring inside the Tide’s football complex on a daily basis.
The culture of mental toughness, discipline and competition is practiced year-round by Tide players. That is a large part of why Alabama has won 20 of its last 26 games by 20 or more points.
So while no offseason accomplishments are validated by wins and losses, it’s clear that Saban’s team has mastered the concept of preparing to win better than any program in the nation.