Set the right tone for a new season early on / Aaron Johnson

There’s plenty to be said for starting the season on the right foot. Although this is always the idea for teams, it sometimes doesn’t work out as planned.

But if a team can be focused enough to get the first win under its belt early, it can be like eating the hearty breakfast — everything going forward just seems to fall into place.

Coaches always talk about setting the tone for the season, making sure that the correct levels of both enthusiasm and focus during the opening minutes of a season can be vital, a single lapse can be like starting off an extra step behind the competition.

During my own freshman year of high school, the football team was coming off an impressive 9-2 season and while there was a new coach at the helm, there were plenty of players that were back that had played key roles the year before and they were ready for the season.

The crowd roared as the teams lined up for the opening kick off. It was going to be the moment that would set the tone for what was supposed to be a state championship run.

As the captain yelled to the rest of the team to ‘set the tone right now,’ the opposing team took the opening kickoff back 74 yards for a touchdown — stunning everyone in the crowd.

That team didn’t win a state title that year, they finished a respectable 6-4. But seeing the air get sucked out of the team during those first moments of the season set the wrong tone that took weeks to get back.

Whether it is football, basketball, hockey, or whatever sport — getting off on the right foot goes a long way in having and maintaining the level of success that is needed for a great season.

ajohnson@hearstmedia; Twitter: @aronJohnson_