Mings Uses 'Team First' Approach at Johnston City

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By WSIL Sports

JOHNSTON CITY -- Take a look around Johnston City's football practice and you'll notice one thing.

Everybody looks the same.

And that's exactly how second year Indians head coach Dan Mings likes it.

"We really preach we before me," he said. "We don't want to highlight this guy or highlight that guy."

Mings credits his success to his team first mentality, both on and off the field.

"As a coach, I don't want prima donna's," he said. "You have to have 11 people doing the same thing with the same desires and the same goals all the time."

"That's pretty much all he speaks," Johnston City junior quarterback Levi Tanner said. "He's not individual at all. He'll pull you off to the side, talk to you about what you're doing individually that can make the team better."

In Mings's first year at JC, the Indians went 8-2, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual state runner-up Casey-Westfield. Despite the success, getting kids to buy into his philosophy took time.

"Last year it was just kind of a touch and go situation," Mings said. "You know, who are these guys (the coaches) and what are they about. It was a big feeling out process but they played hard."

Now with a year behind them, the kids say they like Mings' approach.

"It's a lot more comfortable," Johnston City senior running back Josh Woodhall said. "We know how to do everything a lot better, we know how he is and we're used to him now, he's not a stranger to us."

But more than just X's and O's, Mings makes a daily effort to invest in his players lives off the field.

"We spend a lot of time talking with our kids," he said. "We talk to them about being a good man. Down the road being a good father, being a good husband, being the kind of person that everyone wants to be proud of.

"And we really talk to them about the things they need to get done as men."

Life lessons that will linger long after their playing days are done.
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