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Kory’s Off-Campus Practice Thoughts – Lou’s Metaphor

Aug 8, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT

Former Notre Dame football linebacker Kory Minor (@KMine4) took time out of his busy schedule to write a four-part series chronicling his experiences at off-site training camp facilities with the Irish. Minor, a four-year member of the football squad went on to the NFL for a few years and is currently traveling the country speaking at colleges, universities and corporations on leadership and the concept of winning. Minor’s first book, “Make a Touchdown of Your Life” is due out soon. You can order the book at 

August 5 • Team Building
August 6 • Kory’s Takeaways
August 7 • Freshmen Melodies
August 8 • Lou’s Metaphor

There are so many memorable stories that I can share about my time at Culver, but I think the funniest and most enjoyable would be when coach Holtz burned a small boat on the lake. It reminded me of something General Patton would do to ensure his men were in the battle for the long run. I don’t recall if it was the first night we arrived in Culver or a day or two later, but it was a sight I have never seen and the inspirational and motivational message was on point, accurate and precisely delivered.

Imagine coach Holtz and his less than large stature standing in front of each and every player and coach and basically gave his sermon on the mount.  He talked about the mission and what it would take to be successful that season. Coach shared stories of past seasons, the successes and failures and what that team needed to do to win. I remember him scanning the audience with his eyes as though he was looking and talking to each one of us directly, giving you the official guidelines and strategies that we needed to hear as a team so we could unleash our true greatness.

When coach lit the boat on fire and pushed it out to sea the underlying message was clear, there would be no retreating. If you were on that team you must totally by into the message and the philosophy that coach Holtz envisioned. There would be no middle ground. Coach knew how to win and he was very proficient at that. His job was now to fundamentally transform our minds, hearts and beliefs and to have us all on the same page. I must admit Coach did an excellent job conveying his message. I have never been in awe of anything in my life, but to see the boat on fire behind coach Holtz set against the starry night was the most breathtaking sight I have ever seen. That moment was when I knew I had arrived at the University of Notre Dame and there would be no turning back now.

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