Personal growth exercises help UGA players overcome slack

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More than ever since the Bulldogs won the National Championship on January 10, Smart is apprehensive about the copious praise being poured out on his team. “Rat poison,” he likes to call it, like his old boss, Nick Saban.

But like an overcrowded dam, the praise has been hard to hold back so far this season. Opening the season in third place, Georgia not only moved up to number one after four weeks, but now has 59 out of 63 first-place votes in a recent Associated Press poll. Bulldogs dominated then – no. 11 Oregon 49-3 in the opening game and won their first three games with a cumulative score 130-10.

Hence, the “exercise”. SMART explains.

“We’re talking about growth this week and trying to find ways to get better,” Smart said Tuesday night after his Bulldogs completed their second practice of the week. “We asked each child to pick two things, write them on an index card, put them in the team meeting room, and then (later) he had to show them how he did it. This takes growth.”

Smart revealed the exercise while answering a question about how players, such as former forwards Stetson Bennett and Dan Jackson, and three-star defense line Zion Logue, were able to patiently advance to the players they are today.

It requires growth, and these people exemplify growth,” Smart said.

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Jackson came to Georgia unrecruited from North Hall High in Gainesville to become a regular defensive player and played five games at safety. It took Logue, a youngster from Lebanon, Tennessee, three years to go from team scout player to primary nose guard for the Bulldogs.

On Tuesday, all of them were asked what they put on their index cards.

“Obviously I want to be the best striker I can be,” said Jackson, who finished third on the team with 10 tackles and had the first interception of his career last Saturday. “So, I wrote, I should raise my feet, not bend at the waist and keep my head up. Second, knowing and perceiving descent positions and distance, and more specifically third, is what I want to focus on.”

Log was more careful about sharing his goals.

“I can talk about that for a bit,” Log said. “I’ve been playing the blocks better, have better eyes, better feet, and stay on my shoulder longer so the backers can work a little bit more. It’s kind of playing along with everyone because everyone in each group has something they need to work on. So I think it’s a big step for us this week.”

Intelligence often scars from fighting complacency. He described it as the greatest enemy of success. After dominating their top three opponents with average scores of 43-3, the Bulldogs enter a four-week period in which they are expected to be a multi-touch favorite over each opponent.

That, combined with Georgia’s “super” accolades, led him to install a growth exercise.

“We change it sometimes,” Smart said. “It’s something we do this week. We’ve done it before. But we have different exercises. They post (their goals) and put them on the door; as a kindergarten teacher, you decorate your door and you see that every day when you walk in. Then you have to stand in front of the team and show a video of the place.” in which you have already done what you said you would do.”

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As basic as such an exercise may seem, it is difficult to argue with the results. Hence the comments of coach Kent.

“It is because of the work that CoachSmart and its staff have done and the tireless and tireless effort they put into building an elite and elite level program,” Lewis said.

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