The term next man up in football is used to describe a team mentality in which any player can be seamlessly replaced by a backup.
Teams with a next man up mentality play as if any player on the roster will be starting the next week. One team famous for using the next man up mantra is the New England Patriots.
This football slang is used in several sports and always carries the same meaning of having backups that are ready to step up if necessary.
In the game of football, this term is especially relevant due to the large number of injuries that occur. Throughout a football season, you can expect to lose a good portion of your starting players.
Since there are 22 starters on a football team this means you will need to have quite a few backups ready to play.
Benefits Of Next Man Up Mentality
Now that you understand what this term means in football it’s time to break down why this mentality can be beneficial to a football team.
Backups Stay Prepared
One of the best aspects of the next man up mentality is how it affects the backups on the team. As a second string player, it can be hard to prepare for each week knowing the odds are you aren’t going to be playing in the game.
But under this mantra backups are expected to prepare as if they are about to start the game.
If a locker room culture has been created in which all players prepare equally then backups are going to be noticeably more prepared than those on other teams.
When the time comes for one of these backups to step into the game they will be well prepared to play their part.
Knowing that the coaching staff expects this of you is going to provide more motivation to those players that do not usually get into the field.
One For All Spirit
Another aspect of this mindset that benefits a football team is the one for all spirit. When each player prepares equally for each game there is a sense of equality amongst the players.
The team is not based on a few superstars but rather an entire team of professionals. If all these players put in the work each week then the team will expect to be successful.
This belief in one another creates a team of players that work harder. Getting players to buy into the team is an important goal for any football coach.
By creating a team that values all the players you will find more players are going to buy into this mindset.
Boosting Team Moral
One more bonus of this methodology is the confidence that players have in one another when they get on the field.
It is no secret that in football confidence is a large factor in how players and teams perform on game day.
If you feel confident in your team to dominate you are more likely to do so.
On some teams, a starter will be out of the game leaving the rest of his teammates nervous about the outcome . This is not the case with a next man up football team.
Instead of feeling nervous about losing a starter, these players will instead rally around their backup. If the players truly believe that the next man up can do the job right then they shouldn’t feel any lack of confidence when a backup enters the game.
This can be crucial for late season games in which a team may be starting several backups throughout their roster.