Florida State coach Mike Norvell was welcomed by the Marching Chiefs, who played the fight song to fire up the crowd of 400 gathered at the Tallahassee Quarterback Club kickoff meeting at the University Center Club last week.
Norvell entertained the crowd, which included former defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, defensive ends coach Jim Gladden and Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward, with a passionate speech about how to bring Florida State back to where it belongs among the elite programs in college football with a commitment to a “CLIMB” philosophy.
L. Little things
M. Mental toughness
“I’m excited about the group that I’ve seen to be able to go through the offseason conditioning program, to go through the 15 days of spring and the summer program,” Norvell said. “When we missed out on the spring practices and the summer program we missed out on the opportunity to build the most important thing and that’s toughness, that’s grit, that’s the relentless mindset of how you finish everything that you do.
“Everyone can say the right thing when they feel good and comfortable. It’s when you are in those challenging moments, when you are out there on that practice field and the heat and humidity and your body aches and it does feel good, where do you let this thing go?”
Norvell noted the team looks different and credited it to the work they invested in the weight room, offseason conditioning program and nutrition.
“They look different because they had their butts knocked down but now they have confidence because they know they can get up and they can continue to push forward,” he said. “True confidence shows up when you’ve invested, when you’ve worked, when you’ve been through the experience and when you’ve had to respond when maybe it hasn’t been a day of sunshine. Our football team has embraced that challenge.”
Norvell drew the loudest response when talking about the challenges that lie ahead.
“Kicking off September 5th against a top 10 opponent coming into Doak Campbell Stadium,” he began. “And as I talked to our team, I talked about, ‘This is our opportunity to showcase the true identity of who we are and what we are all about.’ I am fully aware there are people who don’t give us a chance … but quite frankly, I don’t give a damn!
“What I care about is seeing a football team that grows in a belief in each other, that has a relationship with each other, that is willing to lift each other up and push each other through what we get the opportunity to go through.
“…I can tell you we are on our climb.”