The Big Game

The saying goes “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This Sunday, Feb. 12th, there is something bigger in Arizona though, and that’s the BIG Game.

*Quick disclosure*: King Sports Training is not a sponsor of the NFL. It is never our intention to infringe upon any trademarks of the league.

All that aside, let's discuss what it takes to win a championship game, like the one this Sunday, how to prepare for a championship game, and for a little humor--why football in Texas is a BIG deal.


A general thought is the team with the most talent will win. More often than not, quarterback play is a determining factor in a win. However, when it comes to the final game of the NFL season, both teams have equivalent rosters (talent wise).

When two teams are comparable, and I believe the Chiefs and the Eagles certainly are this year, then I always boil the win down to three main factors:

1. Special Teams

2. Penalties

3. Turnovers


Special Teams encompass so many phases of the game, it doesn’t take much for one play to have a BIG impact on a game. Special Teams players in NFL football include:

  • •Kicker

  • •Punter

  • •Holder

  • •Long Snapper

  • •Kick Returner

  • •Punt Returner

  • •Gunner


Penalties have so many variables as to why they happen. Sometimes, it’s the coach’s fault. Sometimes, it's the official’s fault. More often than not, the player is to blame. Regardless of fault, one penalty call can shift a game.

For the die-hard NFL trivia masters out there, which Super Bowl holds the record for most penalty yards?

That would be game V (5) back in 1971 with 133 collective penalty yards between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Colts.


Turnovers can be that little bit of luck a team needed; they certainly can be earned. Either way, taking care of the football matters that much more on this BIG game stage.

The best example of this three headed monster is a long pass called back on a holding penalty (which could be a 50 yard punishment) or a long kick (any kick) return called back for the world famous block in the back.

So, you want to know which team I believe will win this Sunday? Well, I'm not going to specify which team, but I believe the team that comes out on the positive side of all three areas above, will likely win the game. I’m sure teams don’t want to risk testing that theory; it could definitely go the wrong way.


The week leading up to a big game, like a championship, the training protocol is really simple. The most important thing you can do from a training perspective is more about what NOT to do–-that is don’t go heavy and don’t go hard. For more insight, Coach King and Aaron King discuss preparation for gameday in Episode #30 of the King Sports Training Podcast below.


The week leading up, you can rest from lifting weights. There is a relatively negligible benefit from lifting at this juncture. However, you can lift as long as you keep it light and reduced. If you don’t lift regularly, I wouldn’t cancel every session altogether.

“Light is right.”

Furthermore, you can relegate your program to mobility for that week. If you were to take off from training completely, without any activation work, you risk losing out on the benefits of stimulating blood flow. Mobility exercises designed to promote range of motion around a joint can be your primary exercises. Here are just a few of the exercises we provide on our website:


The week leading up, leverage a comprehensive dynamic stretch as the core of the workout (see video below). Flexibility is the goal. A few easy strides for a respectable distance, like 60-meters max, won’t hurt; simply don’t do any high speed work. If your athlete’s V02 max isn’t where you want it by now, more than likely it won’t come to fruition right before a championship.

The point is, non-adaptive training; you don’t want the body adapting to anything new. A proper postseason program will be tapered anyway. By tapered I mean the intensity of the program should start to gradually reduce approaching the end of the regular season.


Deep in the heart of Texas, and deep in the heart of Texans, is a love for football. The ratings for this Sunday’s matchup prove that Texans aren’t alone in that regard.

One of the coolest things about Sunday is having each starting quarterback come from a Texas high school football program.

What in the wide, wide world of sports makes Texas high school football so awesome? What makes everything bigger in Texas??

As a Texas native, allow me to provide some insight to a few things that come to mind.

BIG stadiums - The stadium lights are like a beacon in the night. Depending how deep within a small Texas town, one could potentially follow the logos painted in the street leading to the stadium.

BIG crowds - That’s why there are big stadiums. If you build it, they will come.

BIG teams (in terms of numbers) - Numbers help you win. In all classifications, the amount of players could stretch from 30 to 30 on the sideline. That’s 40 yards of players and coaches stretched down the sideline.

BIG support teams - There may be other terms you’re familiar with, but I’m referring to the student managers, training staff, marching band, drill team, cheerleaders, spirit corp and even the assistant coaching staff may include an extra person here or there.

BIG recruits - This is where the Texas representatives playing this Sunday come to mind. These are players that you watched when they were in high school and could tell they’d be playing on Sundays some day.

BIG recruiters - Coaches from every college on the planet come here to recruit Texas high school football players.

BIG coaches association - The Texas High School Coaches Association, THSCA, has grown to over 23,778 coaches making it the largest organization of its kind in the world. It includes coaches from football to tennis, soccer, basketball and others.

BIG offseasons - There are two seasons in Texas: football season and the time until next football season. Offseason is where the name of the game is gains.

BIG briskets - We got ‘em. Come tailgate with the best of them. There is some good eatin’ in a stadium parking lot.

BIG expectations - Everything above leads to very big expectations. I coached for over 20 years and a single loss, or God forbid a losing season, can’t just easily be glossed over with “we’ll get ‘em next year” or “we’ll learn from tonight.” Yes, you watch a film replay of the game and see areas for improvement, but what big expectations really lead to is training hard (mentally and physically) in ultimate preparation for that championship game.

GOOD LUCK to all the Texas Friday Night Lights alumni who will be taking the field in Glendale this Sunday! One thing I know for sure? I’m excited to watch the most important position on the field feature a Texas high school football veteran. Both teams playing have one, and it makes it that much cooler.

Enjoy the game. Enjoy the commercials. Enjoy the time with the people you spend your Sunday with.

“Everyday to prepare.”



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