Pushing Through The Pain
Coach Travis Hobson Inspires his players to Endure and Overcome Injuries
October 21, 2016
Filed under Sports
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Football is a tough game. It is mentally, physically and emotionally demanding for players and coaches alike.
Nobody knows that better than Travis Hobson, Head Coach of the Century Diamondbacks Football Program. Over the course of a season, Hobson often does the job of more than one man, wearing the hats of Head Century Coach, Coach for youth football teams, Social Studies teacher, husband and father. It’s no wonder, then, that he is under a lot of strain, and that came to a head during the Homecoming Football game on Sept. 23.
“I was lightheaded and it was hard to breathe during the third quarter,” Hobson said. He described the whole day as “off”, despite his performance in the Homecoming assembly. “Something wasn’t right,” Hobson said, but he didn’t make much of it. By the third quarter of the game, Coach Fleischmann had noticed Hobsons condition and asked him to sit down — and that’s about where his account ends.
“I don’t remember anything past that,” Hobson said. “Next thing I knew, I was in the hospital.”
After a few hours in the hospital being treated for high blood pressure, Hobson went home and appeared at Century on Monday morning, tired but ready to work. This, Hobson said, was indicative of the heart of the matter.
“I’m not just going to take a week off because of this,” Hobson said. “What does that teach my team? What kind of example is that?”
That kind of example — one of hard work, dedication and perseverance — is one that Hobson works hard to impress upon his players, though it may also be part of his health problem as well.
“When I’m working, I get focused — often, I’d forget to eat,” Hobson said. “That led to the position I’m in now. I understand the bind I’m in, and I’m going to figure this out.”
Improvement and forward motion are things he draws from his years as a football coach, first in Shelley for a number of years before coming to Century in the fall of 2015.
“A football program is made up of years of work,” Hobson said. “There’s tons of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the long-term goals of a program.”
Because of this hard work, Hobson is in agreement with Athletic Director Stephen Anderson in saying that Diamondback Football will be a major player “in the next few years.” One product of this constant push is declining health due to the stresses of the job. This is an aspect that doesn’t go unnoticed to Hobson, or Anderson.
“He’s been working hard, and he’s stressed,” Anderson said.
The solution? “Work smarter, not harder,” said Hobson. He described plans to delegate more and use his staff of over 20 fellow coaches more effectively.
“I need to learn to ‘play like a runningback’,” said Hobson, alluding to the quick, relaxed movements and on-their-feet thinking that is characteristic of the position.
Players and coaches alike are inspired by Coach Hobson’s ability to overcome.
“It’s about leading by example,” said Easton Anderson, senior and leading member of the varsity team. “You just have to move on [from an injury]. They happen.”
That is precisely the attitude that Coach Hobson has taken, since the incident. Offensive Coordinator Bill Vasas described the way Hobson approached practice the Monday after his hospital visit.
“He made sure the players understood that they need to be taking care of themselves,” Vasas said. “He really emphasized it.”
That emphasis translated to Hobsons own lifestyle. “I’m following my doctors orders and I’m doing everything that I can [to be well],” Hobson said.
According to his coworkers, following those orders is paying off.
“He’s doing much better, Vasas said.
The improvement helps Hobsons optimism and drive stay strong. “I love football, and I love teaching,” Hobson said. “I’m not going anywhere.”