Ferriday coach aims to instill strong mindset in team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Stanley Smith has a vision for Ferriday High School football.

The first-year coach wants his team to compete at all times with a tough mental edge.

If Tuesday’s workout session is any indication, the Trojans are well on their way to realizing Smith’s plan.

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In the Louisiana afternoon heat, Ferriday went through a series of conditioning drills and competitions in what Smith called his team’s best day yet with him at the helm.

“I’m trying to tie everything together — accountability, pushing each other, brotherhood. I believe competition breeds champions,” Smith said. “I think if one person is competing to be their best, then the next person will, and it’s kind of contagious.”

The Trojans lined up on the goal line and sprinted to the 50-yard line with every player being accountable to finish the sprint or it wouldn’t count.

“You’ve got to learn how to compete,” Smith yelled to his players. “You can’t tap out at the first sign of pain.”

Ferriday ended Tuesday’s session with a 100-yard, split-squad relay, creating a newfound competition.

“We’re working on competing, working hard and trying to get mentally and physically tough,” Smith said.

While Ferriday will not host an exhibition this spring, Smith said days like Tuesday are just a small step to achieve their goals, having come off an LHSAA Class 2A quarterfinals appearance a year ago.

“Every day is a process. We’re building brick by brick,” Smith said. “I’m seeing things coming together. I’m just excited and I can’t wait to have everything together.”

As for Smith, the 2001 FHS graduate is more than content being back with the black and gold.

“I’m back at home,” he said. “My first coaching job was here, and I’d love for my last coaching job to be here. I’m a home guy, it’s a pride and family deal. I’m home.”