Athletes use all sorts of things as motivation. Whether they need that extra juice to finish a couple final drills at the end of practice, or to knock out those last few reps during offseason workouts, they have to find something to give them that edge.
Following a six-loss season, motivation was not hard to find for OSU’s football team.
When the Cowboys convened for winter workouts with head strength coach Rob Glass, they donned special workout shirts to keep that motivation at the forefront of their minds. It listed the names of each of the schools they lost to last season.
— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) January 24, 2019
A couple of those were teams OSU isn’t used to coming up short against. The loss to the Red Raiders ended a nine-game winning streak and the loss to the Cyclones was the first in seven meetings. Kansas State, TCU and Baylor were teams that they really had no business losing to in the first place. That’s all the more motivation for a team that had won 10 games each of the previous three years to exact some revenge in 2019.
“Winter conditioning here is extremely difficult,” said Mike Gundy. “They work a lot of hours, and they work early morning. Everybody had the shirt on and it was motivating, and it should’ve been.”
Those shirts seemed to do the trick and also provided a little extra team bonding in the process, according to senior corner A.J. Green.
“The past few months after the bowl game are always tough and Coach (Rob) Glass giving us new conditioning, but it brings us closer as a team,” said Green. “We came out of the bowl game feeling good and ready to work.
“Having those shirts with all of the names on it to all the people we lost to was a constant reminder of what we’re not as a team. Every day when we come out with those shirts on, it was just a reminder that we don’t want to go through that again this season.”
And you can be sure that junior safety Malcolm Rodriguez is ready for the Big 12 revenge tour this fall.
“It just makes us motivated to go out every day and try to change that,” said Rodriguez. “We just want to go out there and compete and give it our all.”
That desire spilled over into Monday’s start of spring practice.
“As a receiver, I feel like the intensity is a lot higher than it was last year,” said Tylan Wallace on Monday. “We are excited to be here and make plays.”
“It feels good to finally be back on the field being able to do football activities,” said Green. “Just being together with the corners and defense and competing again.”
Gundy was okay with his guys taking those losses personally, but he says it’s now time to move forward and build toward 2019.
“We’re through that part now, and we’re back into the core value of our program, which is to compete. Our focus, effort, toughness and leadership is kind of who we are, so we moved to the next stage.”