How NOT to psychologically prepare a team pre-game

I'm posting this outside of Oski Oui Oui's post-game postmortem because I think what happened before the first snap had an impact on the team's performance against the Al's.

I have season seats close to the field behind the visitor bench. Not a great place to watch plays unfold downfield but you get a real feel for the energy level of both teams during the game (and you hear some great heckling).

I think the pregame ceremony last night was a text book example of how NOT to psychologically prepare for a game. Here's my synopsis:

  1. Take your starting line-up, pair each of them up with a young child and have them walk slowly hand-in-hand onto the field and make a big circle.

  2. As a player, because these children are nervous you make sure you're extra friendly, smiley and gentle. Give the little fella pat on the head. Keep holding his hand. You just met this little kid and you are in ambassador-mode. Wave to the crowd. Hold your helmet up, oh look the little guy is doing it too! He's cute! Everyone is smiling. This is nice.

  3. But it takes some time to form a big friendly circle (like we're at a Beavers' meeting) and before you know it, it's time to sing the national anthem and look-out! Here comes the flag!

  4. Quick! Get the little guys off the field (not too fast though - so keep smiling) and hey let's try to form a tight circle to get our focus back - There's No. 16 trying to rally the guys, but now the national anthem has started and the flag's coming onto the field so we're running to the sideline while the crowd is a few bars in.

  5. At that point, if you're a Canadian player, you're thinking "Jesus, I'm actually running / jogging while the national anthem is being played!" - not standing still like your dad taught you - but actually running toward the sideline during Oh Canada (If you're a non-national you're probably thinking thank God I'm not running while the Stars and Stripes are being played!).

  6. Meanwhile, over on the Alouette side of the field the players are all neatly lined up along the field standing still while the anthem plays. They didn't come out onto the field when we played the lame music for them. They waited until our little ceremony was under way. They were focused from the beginning, and it showed.

From there I watched the energy level steadily rise on the Alouette bench to what was a predictable result. The Cats were flat all night long. In the previous two games The Ti-Cats were electric pre-game, last night? Not so much as a spark.

it certainly was a comedy of errors last night but I think your overthinking this.

Actually I've heard a couple of other comments from people who seemed to think that the team was just not as organized as usual (lining up on the wrong side of the field at the beginning?) which does seem to indicate a lack of focus. For sure, they did not appear to have their normal intensity, especially on defense, for most of the game. Can't play with a lack of intensity when the other team is giving it all they have - and chirping as well.

In the stands we talked about Popp's well played mind game of having the team NOT come out when announced and instead coming out when they were good and ready and a distraction to the Cats.

Didn't like it.... but it was well done.

hi Mark

weren't the Cats were still in the dressing room, If im remembering correctly but I did enjoy the music they played when the Als were announced lol

I don't know if that was anything to do with Popp.
I'm not sure how the teams are informed of when it's time to hit the field, whether there's some official outside their room who tells them, or if there's a clock in both locker rooms, but it seem like both teams were alerted late.
The Als came out a minute or two after they were announced, but so did the Cats. I thought they were going to run out of smoke they took so long. That's why they were still out at midfield when the anthem was going on.

8) After watching that game last night, I came to one conclusion......Jim Popp took Kent Austin to school, as to how to
   prepare a team for a big game !!!

    So many experts on here ran down Popp all week before the game, but guess who is getting the last laugh now !!    <!-- s:oops: -->:oops:<!-- s:oops: -->

Jones reportedly did this last season with the EE - sometimes wasn't even on the field for the national anthem! - and eventually was fined I think or at least told to smarten up.
Since the opponent's are announced and take to the field before the home team, I wouldn't be surprised if Popp was playing mind games and deliberately delaying so as to make the Ticats late coming on to the field. Since they were coming on to the field with junior players, they didn't do their normal jog and couldn't really speed up their entrance too much. Such tactics, if that indeed was what he was doing, should not be allowed.

guelphcatsfan has shown in the past that they believe their own delusions as reality, so all readers of this thread should just politely ignore him/her.

Not at all CFF. I think he's right on. I was derided here after the last Montreal game for saying they looked unorganized and poorly motivated and now again they put up a less than stellar effort. For the record the Montreal players waited under the grandstand for the silly music to stop brfore coming out.

What was the silly music?

Like circus music for the clowns.

another reason why this loss sucks! We had an aura of invincibility at home and I’m sure that played in opponents heads giving us an advantage.

Ali had it till Frazier
Anderson Silva had it till Chris Weidman
Mayweather still has it
Seahawks had it at home it till the Cowgirls beat them
Tyson had it till Douglas.
NE Patriots 18-0 to my NY GIANTS
Globetrotters have it lol.

Once someone takes that away I’m not sure you can get it back. Stupid Montreal, always ruining everything!

I fully understand all your points but I don't know if this disorganization at the beginning had anything of any consequence to do with the poor performance during the game. Obviously whever co-ordinates the opening ceremonies was having an off day, and everything seemed badly timed, especially spreading the flag and the anthem. Maybe this could have gotten into their heads, but I doubt it, they're supposed to be professionals. I just thing we were flat this game and maybe a little overconfident. Well, we got that game out of our system, so let's move on and learn that every game counts and sink the good ship Argonaut on Labor Day. :rockin:

I fully understand all your points but I don't know if this disorganization at the beginning had anything of any consequence to do with the poor performance during the game. Obviously whever co-ordinates the opening ceremonies was having an off day, and everything seemed badly timed, especially spreading the flag and the anthem. Maybe this could have gotten into their heads, but I doubt it, they're supposed to be professionals. I just thing we were flat this game and maybe a little overconfident. Well, we got that game out of our system, so let's move on and learn that every game counts and sink the good ship Argonaut on Labor Day. :rockin:
They're 'supposed to be professionals' but emotion and mental focus always play a role. As you say, they were probably due for a flat game. Better to have it last week (and see the Argos lose to Edmonton) than on Labour Day.

Now, if we can just keep the little kids off the field on Monday and get the CF18 to buzz the stadium a second time like last year when the Cats kicked-off we'll be in good shape!

No team is invincible in the CFL. I think everyone including myself thought the Cats were going to Steam roll the Alouettes but it just wasn't the case and to Montreal's credit, their D line was amazing that game. If someone told me they would be 6-3 at this point I would definitely take it. I think the team knows they will have to be pumped for the Blue team on Monday and hopefully a first place win.

One extra thought.
Game was "A BIG GAME" for Als
Not so much for Cats.

Looks like Popp didn't think last night's game against the Lions was "a BIG game" because the Larks were woefully unprepared, especially on offense. Maybe they thought they could run all over the Leos again? Sure didn't happen since the Lions D was much better against the run.

Our guys - those who are healthy enough - will be ready for Monday for sure!