What Tennessee coach Josh Heupel wrote on his goal sheet as a high school senior in 1995
Cindy Heupel encouraged her children to have a vision for what they wanted to achieve, but to not stop there. Plan for how to attain that vision.
Josh Heupel took his mom’s advice to heart.
When coach Steve Svendsen had his Aberdeen Central High School football players chart their goals for the 1995 season, Heupel didn’t see it as a silly homework assignment. He outlined what he wanted to achieve during his senior season and how he planned to get there.
“Josh never wants to let anything fall by the wayside,” Cindy Heupel said.
Svendsen now coaches at a high school in Texas. He still has the goal sheet Heupel filled out in 1995, and he shows it to players as an example that, to get what you want, you need to have a plan and commit to it.
“He kept a dang diary of everything he ate, what he did, and all those things,” Svendsen said. “Very detailed in everything that he did and very goal-oriented.”
Heupel pledges to bring an attention to detail as he embarks on the task of resurrecting Tennessee’s football program.
“I believe it's important for our players still to dream big, set a goal and then set a plan to achieve that," Heupel said.
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Svendsen shared a copy of Heupel’s 1995 goal sheet with Knox News.
The goal sheet had three sections: Team goals for the 1995 season, individual goals for the season and what the player was willing to do to achieve those goals.
Heupel threw for 2,471 yards that season and led Aberdeen Central to the state quarterfinals.
Here’s what Heupel wrote on his goal sheet:
1. Everybody put in time – quality – including coaching staff
2. Protect home turf
3. Get above .500
4. Win conference
5. Play championship night
6. Put state championship banner up!
1. 40(-yard dash) at below 4.75 (seconds)
2. Weight up to 205 and above
3. Improve long ball
4. Improve overall arm strength
5. Take total control of team and game at times. Put on back and carry to banner.
6. Lower interceptions to six or fewer
7. Throw for 3,000 yards
8. Earn total respect of ESD (Eastern South Dakota Conference) and state and (go) as far as name can go.
9. Play great in big games
10. Work until can't anymore during summer to improve.
What he's willing to do to make goals a reality
1. Weight room
2. Throw with receivers
3. Exceleration (acceleration) program
4. Look at film
5. Hang out with all of the guys
6. Learn to relax a bit
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. Current subscribers can click here to join Blake's subscriber-only text group offering updates and analysis on Vols football.