Monday, January 7, 2013

Saban uses video of Mariano Rivera to inspire 'Bama team

Mariano Rivera may pick up a save tonight without even jogging out from the bullpen if Alabama captures the BCS National Championship with a victory over Notre Dame.

It wouldn't go down in the record books as career save No. 609, but could play a small part in the history of Alabama football, nonetheless.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he had his players watch a video of the New York Yankees closer to help them get a grasp of the importance of focusing on the task at hand.

"We just watched a video of Mariano Rivera, and he talked about how he struggled at some time in his career because he was trying  to be a perfectionist," Saban said on Sunday.  "And that when he's in the bullpen, he sees the crowd, he hears the crowd, he knows sometimes that he's getting a lot of positive self-gratification for what he does and sometimes getting a lot of negative self gratification...

"But when he runs out and they hand him the ball, he's got one focus.  He's not worried about the crowd, he's not worried about any of the external factors.  One focus: 'Three outs, how am I going to get three outs?'"

Saban has coached in big games before and wanted to inspire his young Crimson Tide players with a tape of the Yankees great — who has seen more than his share of big moments over an illustrious career.

"You could say, well, that's nothing," said Saban about how focus affects the outcome of a game.  "Well, believe me, being around young people, being in games like this, that's something, and it's something big."

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