There’s been a lot of two things this week surrounding the Alabama football team.
One is talk about mindset after Will Anderson said there might have been some anxiety creeping into the locker room ahead of the 52-49 loss to Tennessee. The other is toxic negativity raining down from outside the football complex and Nick Saban said there could be a correlation between the two.
It was a topic of discussion Thursday night on Saban’s radio show when media guest James Spann asked the coach about how they deal with “the haters” who largely roam the dark corners of social media.
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this,” Saban began.
He said he had a hard time understanding why a full week of preparation and focus seemed to melt away upon arrival at Neyland Stadium.
“We get there and we’re full of anxiety and I think some of that comes from external factors because, it’s like you say, people are on the internet and they get affected by what people think and say,” Saban said. “That’s how they get their feedback.”
He continued by saying he loves the players who are motivated internally and don’t lean on outside voices for affirmation.
“But I’m sorry to say not everybody is that way,” Saban said, “and I think some of this feedback that we’re talking about creates a little bit of a negative attitude, which creates a little bit of anxiety. Anxiety is not good for positive performance. It’s just not.”
High achievement and low anxiety have a correlation for a reason, he noted.
“We’ve just seemed to have a lot of that and it’s kept me up a lot at night this week trying to figure that out,” Saban said. “We talked to the leadership group on the team. I talked to some players on the team and they wanted to so bad, maybe it was too bad.”