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Struggle mightily on the road (both in football and basketball). I understand the home crowd aspect, but the football field is still 100 yards long, the hoop is still 10 feet high, you have the same players you have at home. I am guessing it has to be mental or the players just aren't as exciting about playing on the road?? And yes my post is because of Mark Gottried because I have never seen a coach who has teams that play so good at home but so piss poor on the road
Yes, the biggest factor is the mental side. The game is the game, no matter where you play it. Some players and coaches thrive on any atmosphere where everyone is against them. The common thing we hear from these types is how they Love to hush a crowd screaming against them. For those who excel at winning on the road, their focus improves ever so slightly and maybe even increased motivation to do just that.
Some in sports can only gain that little extra when things are on their side and going well for them. Like how home crowds can energize players when really getting behind them. The truly great ones not only can use this, but can take the negative and use it just the same if not even more at times. Again, all coming back to their focus - mental side of the game.
I think it all has to do with playing against the team you are facing instead of concentrating on fundamentals and playing to a standard...Saban has the market cornered here. He's continually preaching about playing to a standard vs. playing against another team or individual. It's a great line of thinking, it makes sense, and it works...it's not easy to get a team focused on doing this, but he's and his staff have perfected it. Coaches that get caught up in the moment of the significance of a game, or worse yet allow their team's to get caught up in it aren't going to be as successful. I think Coach K at Duke has a very similar approach; you often here him speak about how he prepares for the NCAA tournament...he treats them as two game mini tournaments and focuses on winning those and not on the prize at the end of it all. I see a lot of similarities in the Duke team, always even keel, never too high or too low about a single game because they understand it is a grind and a long season.
"You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve"
Great coaches win anywhere.
Good coaches win at home but choke when it counts on the road
Piss poor coaches go winless in the SEC. Home or away
Never Gets Old
I tend to think our FB team plays better on the road for some reason. Seems like "most" of our slow starts we have are at home.
But its all mental.
I have always wondered why there is any advantage for home teams in football. It is loud for both teams and I've never seen a stadium quiet when they have the ball and raucous when they don't. Should be no difference between the road and home.
In B-ball IMO there is a significant difference for shooters. Rims may be tighter and the shooting backdrop is different. Also more intimidating because the students are often right on top of the players.
Its because good defense travels well. If you can play defense well you can do that anywhere. However, playing offense tends to be based more on rhythm and comfort and other factors that vary from week to week and can be greatly affected by being on the road versus being at home.
This is especially true in basketball.
I also think some uber-competitive people love the thrill of dominating someone on their turf.
Mostly though I believe in the axiom that defense travels.
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