by Omar Smith, Apex Predator Head Coach
The road to this year’s Nationals for my 10U team started on the Pro Bowl field at last year’s Nationals. We were on the field at the end zone with the other teams that were participating in the halftime show. The 2018 NFL Flag 10U National Champions Team Impact was at the other end zone with the other winners. As they were announced to the fans as National Champions, I looked over to my team and said, “That is where I want us to be next year!” They all agreed that they wanted to be there too.
As soon as we got back to Las Vegas, we trained harder than ever, as the kids were doing speed and agility training during the week. We played in as many tournaments as we could during 2018 to continue to get better on the field. I constantly talked about what it took to be a National Champion as far as having mental toughness, accountability, putting the team first before individual accomplishments, being disciplined, and letting other teams beat themselves with mental mistakes that we don't make.
Once the new flag year came, I felt the team was ready to make a serious run at the 10U National Championship. We went undefeated in the Seattle Regional and did not allow a point during the whole tournament. The next tournament was the South West Showdown in Arizona where we went undefeated, and our defense only allowed seven points. Going into the 2019 Nationals, our team was physically ready and more importantly mentally ready to play. We went undefeated during the whole tournament to become the 2019 NFL Flag National Champions. The next day at the Pro Bowl we were on the field and were announced as National Champions. Looking at the team smiling and reaching that goal is something I'll never forget.
Tag(s): In the News