Georgia Football: Kirby Smart seeks to “connect” his roster

Kirby Smart is looking to connect Georgia football’s roster.

One thing that goes mostly unnoticed by the casual football fan is how much comradery matters to a competitive football team. The closer a team is off the field, the better they play together on the field. The reason for this is that teammates can communicate better with one another and hold each other accountable without resistance. These bonds allow for better leadership and accountability. This was a problem in 2020 for Georgia football.

The connection among the team was one of the things that were lost last year due to COVID-19 protocols. Coaches couldn’t meet with players as they were accustomed to, and the players didn’t get to spend time with one another either. The only time they were together was either on the practice fields or while working out. As you could imagine, this isn’t a lot of time to form solid bonds.

How Coach Smart plans to fix this problem for Georgia Football.

Kirby Smart touched on this during his press conference at SEC Media Days on Tuesday. Coach Smart said that the keyword for this season is “connection.” He also went into great detail about how he plans to accomplish creating a better connection among the team.

We’ve taken a very introspective look this year, after the season last year. We did a lot of surveys and a lot of talking to our players and one of the keywords, the biggest theme came out, was connection. When you’re on a Zoom with somebody it’s hard to have a connection. When you’re not allowed to sit within six-feet of somebody it’s hard to have a connection. We had some players that didn’t even get to meet and know everybody on the team throughout the season because so much was done through Zoom and different methods of communication.

So connection is one of the key ingredients for this team. We have been very intentional about it. We’ve given up football time, we’ve given up work out time to spend more time with each other. That’s beginning to pay off as we see it here in the Summer with guys leading, guys getting in front of the group and leading skull sessions, and being very active.

Kirby Smart from SEC Media Days, quote courtesy of The SEC Football Podcast’s video on YouTube

How this will make Georgia football a better team and the players better men.

Smart’s action has already started to form more vocal leaders among the Georgia football players. This was an element that had been lacking inside the locker room for quite some time. Vocal leaders are very important when it comes to holding others on the team accountable. This not only goes in practice but also on the field during games as well. Every championship-caliber team has a handful of vocal leaders that keep their teammates focused.

Keeping the players and coaches together, focused, and on the same page is the most important element of any football team. That is why it is so refreshing to see that Coach Smart is paying that so much attention this offseason. The bonds he is helping to create will not only make this team stronger but will also form friendships that will outlast their playing days.

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