Yes, it’s been a hard football watching season for Minnesota Vikings fans. Why couldn’t this team turn it around and actually win more than 3 games? This week’s StarTribune Exit Interviews article ponders this question.
Several players chime in, but linebacker Chad Greenway explains the disappointing season well. “To me, I think the biggest thing was the way this season started, those first three games. The way we lost them sort of creates the negative momentum, the negative mentality. Winning and losing is a culture. I think when you create that early on, you create a bad culture about, in your mind, can we do this? Can we not do this? How do you overcome that? You overcome that by getting a few wins and getting that confidence back. We just weren’t able to string that together and overcome all that. I’m certainly proud of the way we hung together. It’s not easy to do that in the situation like this, the season we’re having when people are frustrated with whether it be a position group or a coach. People can get frustrated because it’s a long season and you’re out there putting everything into it. I’m definitely proud of the fact we didn’t get into that,” says Greenway.
After three loses in a row right off the bat, the Vikings never successfully overcame this culture of losing, but these exit interviews show the team never completely gave up. Defensive end Brian Robinson says he “fought every game as hard” as he could, and he believes 98 percent of the team did the same thing.
In 2012, the Vikings need to turn this losing culture into a winning environment. Robinson says this is about every single player fighting for every game. However, even when one works as hard as they can, negative momentum and energy in a locker room can become a norm and can be difficult to get past. This is why in the face of losing streaks and negative momentum, it’s not just about working hard, it’s about positive mental coaching for both individuals and teams.