Whether your coaching career just started this season, or you’ve been coaching for decades, chances are pretty good you’ve gone into a half down and in need of some adjustments and your team needing a spark of some kind to get things turned around.
This past weekend, Delaware and head coach Danny Rocco (in his first season with the program after leading FCS Richmond from 2012-2016) headed into halftime down 20-7. They needed to make a few adjustments on defense, and they certainly needed a spark, but asked what it really was that contributed to their defensive shutout in the second half, Rocco explained with a metaphor for life.
“You have to choose to respond,” Rocco started off explaining, according to Brandon Holveck.
“In anything that you do in life, you have to make a conscious decision that I’m going to respond to what someone has said to me or what someone is asking of you. And they [the players] chose to respond. And I think they chose to respond because they knew I was telling them the truth. They kind of sensed the same thing.”
“I talk all the time about, you have to be internally motivated. If you’re a person that’s always counting on something externally to motivate you than you’re always at the mercy of that external motivation. Until you start to internalize these values and convictions then you’re really never a self-motivated individual. I think in that moment, they internalized my message and they took ownership of it, and they went out and tried to do something about it.”
In that second half, Rocco’s guys on defense pitched a shutout, and the offense responded with 10 points in the third quarter, and a touchdown in the fourth to cap off a 24-20 win. Rocco has the Blue Hens at 3-2 with a home game this weekend against William & Mary before a big match up against his former team (Richmond) at home the next week.