NDSU Football Players Find Success by Visualizing it
The Bison play in the National Championship game Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
FRISCO, Texas — North Dakota State is off to a daunting 14-0 start to the season. The Bison are one win away from a undefeated season, something that none of the current players on the roster have experienced in their collegiate careers.
Every player and coach at NDSU — and just about any program — insists that success is all about taking things one game at a time. Chris Klieman emphasizes that a season is all about trying to go 1-0 each week, instead of looking at the season as a whole. But, for many of the guys, practice is more than just a physical activity. They also visualize success in order to keep coming out on top.
“I think if you play as a football player, you have to visualize making impact plays,” sophomore linebacker Jabril Cox said. “That’s what I’ve been doing these whole three weeks basically, before this big game.”
Kicker Cam Pedersen also works on that technique.
“That’s a big thing I like to do is visualization,” he said. “I try to do that before every game, the whole week leading up to it look at every detail of everything I might be doing out there and try to hone in on it.”
That visualization is easier for guys who have experienced success on this big of a stage. In last year’s championship game, Cox had a key fumble recovery, and in 2015 title-game win against Jacksonville State, Pedersen nailed all three of his field-goal attempts.
But, some of the guys are new to this.
Sophomore offensive tackle Dillon Radunz missed last season with a knee injury, so this will be his first time playing in Frisco.
“There’s a few moments where I’m like ‘wow, I could’ve been playing last year,'” Radunz said. “This year I’m like ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m actually playing.’ But, at the same time, this is what I prepared for, so I’m ready to go. You’ve just got to take care of your body. It’s more focused on I have to watch more film this year than last year just kind of helping out on the sideline and whatnot, so being able to play my role as left tackle and preparing physically as well as mentally.”
Having a little extra time off for a winter break helped the mental and physical toll, especially for running back Lance Dunn, who has been recovering from an injury.
“Those five days really benefited me a lot,” Dunn said. “I had some time to rest and do some more rehab and everything. I definitely recovered well and got my strength back up.”
He wasn’t the only one who benefitted from the break.
“That break definitely helped,” cornerback Jalen Allison said. “Everyone after that SDSU game was beat up, sore. So, having a break helped immensely. We were ready to go, re-energized. We got a break from football since we’ve been going at it since june.”
Saturday’s game against Eastern Washington kicks off at 11:00 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.