Leading up to their game against SMU on Saturday, the Navy football team received a pump-up speech from none other than Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“Growing up in Annapolis, the Naval Academy has been a huge part of my life,” Belichick told the group of students. “It’s always a pleasure to be here. I follow you guys every week.”
Belichick’s father, Steve, was a Naval Academy scout for more than three decades. Over the years, he has continued to stay very connected to his military roots and previously credited his upbringing for shaping parts of his current perspective on the game.
“I just assumed that’s what football was,” he said in an interview with N magazine. “Guys were very disciplined. They worked very hard. They did extra things. They were always on time, alert, ready to go, team-oriented, unselfish. I thought that’s the way it all was. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I can see how that molded me.”
During his speech to the Midshipmen, which was orchestrated by the team’s head coach Ken Niumatalolo, Belichick conveyed messages of encouragement and motivation.
“Confidence is really today’s confidence. It’s not next week. It’s not next month,” he said. “So whether you won last week or didn’t win last week, that doesn’t have anything to do with today and doesn’t have anything to do with tomorrow.”
Prior to his talk, Navy was coming off three consecutive losses to Memphis, UCF, and Temple.
“There’s nothing you can do about anything of that stuff,” Belichick continued. “The only thing you can control is what you can do today in preparation for the upcoming game next week against SMU.”
“You control what your effort is. You control what your performance is. Put the most into it and you’ll get the most out of it.
For what it’s worth, Navy ended up defeating SMU, 43-40.