Blue and Gold Illustrated


Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 67

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2022 11 UNDER THE DOME media, I had a bigger respect for it," Laurinaitis said. "Now, being in it, guys who have done this for a long time have been grinding in it and grind their way up. It has been a fun learning experience." Mastering the PowerPoint presen- tations and XOS film software came quickly. There's a playbook for those. Finding his voice as a coach and teacher, though, takes time. It requires practice. It's sometimes formed by trial and error. Not every player learns the same way. Sometimes forming effective teach- ing skills starts with finding out what doesn't work. There's no one-size-fits- all manual. No playbook. "In the spring, you might as well have unplugged a fire hydrant, plugged a hose in and told me to take a sip," Laurinaitis said. "It was just a lot. You're learning, 'How do I want to teach?' I know it, but how do I want to present it?" Freeman offered two words of advice: "Be yourself." The coaches who try and emulate colleagues' styles and voices are often the ones with the shorter ca- reers. Furthermore, Laurinaitis' per- spective should resonate. He has lived his players' lives not long ago. His play- ing career is an example of what each of them wants to achieve. "He really has a connection with these guys," Freeman told Columbus- based radio station 97.1 The Fan in June. "Obviously, he's easy to gravitate to." Among other things, Laurinaitis be- ing himself means over-preparing. It turns out that's a requirement for work- ing with a Notre Dame linebacker unit that Freeman coached last year and for- mer NFL position coach Al Golden now oversees. "We have a brilliant room," Lauri- naitis said. "The best part about that is they challenge you as a coach to re- ally know it. You can't step into the linebacker room and not be prepared. We have really smart players. You're going to have to spit something back to them." In his own voice. "How do you want to progress in the teaching?" Laurinaitis said. "That was fun to learn in the spring. We all have our own styles. But once you step on the turf, it's pure joy." His first game as Coach Laurinaitis will be on familiar turf. Freeman isn't the only Notre Dame staff member fac- ing his alma mater when the Irish open at Ohio State. Laurinaitis will see a new side of Ohio Stadium, where he put to- gether a career that should one day earn him induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The visitors' side. And maybe the upstairs coaching boxes if he's assigned there during games. "Have I thought about it?" Lauri- naitis said. "I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about it. Yeah, it's going to be weird. It's going to be emotional." There might not be anything that can truly prepare him for it. ✦ "He really has a connection with these guys. Obviously, he's easy to gravitate to." HEAD COACH MARCUS FREEMAN ON LAURINAITIS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Preseason2022