Jimbo Fisher was reminded why 'I was hell on them this spring'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday April 09, 2017

Jimbo Fisher admits he was extremely tough on his team this spring, but a get-together with former FSU players reminded him it's worth it.

A large group of former Florida State players were in town for the spring game weekend, and Fisher’s interactions with them reminded him of how they were taught.

“It’s funny, all the stories the guys told, there were very few game stories,” Fisher said. “It was all about the locker room, the dorm, practice, that camaraderie.”

Fisher said he did a Bobby Bowden move this spring, starting a practice over when he wasn't happen, but unlike Bowden, Fisher was limited with the four-hour practice rule and time limitations with players. The rules are about player safety, and Fisher said he felt bad about how hard he got on some players this spring, but the stories from former players reminded him why he did it.

It’s hard, in today’s time, to get that across to kids, because of the rules, stipulations, what goes on, the time limits,” he said. “You’ve got to build toughness, mentally and physically. Physically, you build it from the hitting and practice, but that builds the mental toughness to fight through it in those times. You’ve got to find those things. That’s what I try to get.

“I was hell this spring. I was never happy. I was pushing, because if you don’t now, you have to get across what you’re trying to sell right now. The parity of this game is too great, who can mentally and physically handle the mental strains and toughness are the guy that persevere and come out on top. It was fun listening to those guys. I walk off practice some days and feel bad, as far how hard I got on them, how hard I challenged them, how hard I pushed them. I didn’t feel bad after the stories they told last night. I felt good.”

It emphasized what Fisher feels the point of practice is. Not only what it means for individual players, but what it does to a team.

“That’s what the players remember. It isn’t the games,” he said. “They talk about a couple things related to a game when they won. But that’s what I tell everybody. It’s not the games and the winning. It’s the camaraderie and the practice and what you go through. I always tell our guys, when you walk up 20 years from now to your reunion, as you walk up and there are players standing there — we all do it; ‘Here comes Joe. He was a goofball.’ Or ‘One tough son of a gun.’ When you walk up, what are they going to say about you?

“When you get the respect of that, that’s what this is all about. It ain’t about winning the game, it ain’t about being an All-American, it ain’t playing in the NFL. What are your teammates going to say about you? You learn that out on the practice field. I thought we grew in that area. The leadership, I saw grow.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.