Here’s How Saban Balances Thanksgiving and Iron Bowl Prep
Eli Gold and media guest Gary Harris talked with Nick Saban on "Hey Coach" Wednesday night.
On the night before Thanksgiving, Saban spoke on the holiday: "This is the time of year to enjoy family, thanksgiving....the time of year to have gratitude for all that we have. God's blessed us, and we certainly thank him for that."
Harris asked Saban how the holiday week affects his preparation for one of the biggest rivalries of the season.
Saban emphasized that distractions do exist, of course. "You've got all these things happening off the field," he said, "whether it's Thanksgiving, whether it's family dinner...which is important stuff."
Coach also referenced all the "noise on the internet" and superstitious concerns that surround the Auburn-Alabama game. "But that doesn't really have any impact on what happens in the game," Saban said. "It's all about what you choose to think about."
But that doesn't mean the team thinks about the game every waking moment.
"I'll enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow with our family," said Saban, "and we'll probably have about fifteen of players over who live too far away...but that's not really a time that we need to be thinking about the game so much."
Instead, the game will be thought about in those times where it's structured to be. "That's what we do in practice," said Saban, "that's what we do in meetings every day. It's a tough balance," he admitted, "but I think successful people and successful organizations have confidence in the process of what you have to do to be successful."
Saban emphasized the importance of having a good process and sticking to it. "That's what we gotta keep doing with our players," said Saban. "You don't want to get complacent, you don't want to get selfish. Those two things can kill team chemistry faster than anything."
"You want to peak at the right time, but you want to keep being a dangerous team," he said. "and you do that through focus and improvement, practicing well and creating good habits."
Watch the full interview with Nick Saban on "Hey Coach."
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