Football team’s “Shark Mentality” motivates players

The football coaches implemented a new tradition that players believe positively affects the effort they put into the game. Coaches use a predator mindset to motivate their players on how to act on and off the field. Players call it their shark mentality. 

“Shark mentality means being always hungry and never full,” sophomore safety Will Langley said, “just going after it everyday and attacking the day.”

Other players, like junior wide receiver Drew Altom, think of this mentality when times are tough.

“It means always trying your best,” Altom said, “and not quitting when it gets really hard.”

According to Altom, this mentality can be soothing to players and boosts confidence. The mentality stresses that the game isn’t all on one player, but the burden is shared between the eleven guys on the field.  That way, they can attack as one, resembling a “shark”.

“It reminds me to always try hard, even when I’m tired and everything’s not going well,” Altom said.

Coach Chris Wood stresses this shark mentality in order to ensure that his players will work hard on and off the field. He believes that this mindset is greater than football, and will apply to his players’ future jobs and careers.

“I always want to improve myself and my personality, how I treat others, and in school, I never want to be satisfied with just getting a B.” junior linebacker Chris McGehee said.

Furthering this theme, the football team has also started honoring Wildcat teachers with the Shark Mentality Teacher of the Week award. The most recent recipient is Advanced Placement US History teacher John Stewart.

“They look for teachers that are always encouraging their students to get better,” McGehee said. “They’re never giving up on their students, even if that means putting in extra work after class.”

The shark mentality applies to all aspects of Wood’s players’ lives, including football, school, home life, and their future. The players believe it to be an important part of their lives and strive to use it everyday.

The Wildcats, after coming off a 58-28 loss to the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats and a 63-56 loss to the Northside Grizzlies, are trying to stay focused and locked in. Applying this mentality can, according to Altom, provide fantastic motivation.

“Shark mentality is important to me,” Altom said, “because it is good to stay focused and motivated in sports and school, especially when concerning my future.”