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High Performance Coach Erik Korem Pushing the Wildcats to the Next Level



“When we first started training, we wanted to show these guys how to naturally, and fully control what we call their ‘arousal levels’, and it wasn’t fun at the beginning, but then we explained to them that, ‘Guys, you have to learn how to create your own music…'”

-Erik Korem, High Performance Coach, University of Kentucky Wildcats Football




Alright everybody. Let’s get in here. We have Florida coming up and I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be tough. They’re a tough bunch of guys  – they always are – and we’re going to need to have our guns ready for them.

I want everybody here ready. Mentally. Physically. Strategically. Your mind and your muscle are gonna need to be in tip-top shape for this team. I want everyone at their peak. Minds sharp, alert. I want you ready to hit hard and take a hit and shake it off. I want our physicality to out-perform them at every level. I want our heads in it and I want everyone to know exactly what they’re doing at all times. Focus. Concentration. This is how you beat a team like Florida.

Jalen, now, listen up.  I want you on bass. We’re going with Max at lead vocals to start. A constant, grooving bassline is going to drive the tempo; it’s the foundation for everything. Now, when we get to the bridge there’s a key change. You can’t miss that. If you hesitate for a second you’ll get eaten alive. What you’re doing is fundamental for success.

Alex, here’s your tamborine. Practice it. Know every single jingle and jangle. Make it an extension of your arm. The complement it will give to Sanders’ drums is going to sound real, real nice if it comes together. And it’s gonna need to come together if we’re going to do this right. Za’Darius, I want you to have one eye on Alex at all times – you guys have to work together because if one of you misses the beat the other has to be there to back him up.

Trombone section, I’ve been really happy with you guys this week. Solid stuff. Lookin’ good. I’m not worried about you guys; but trumpets need work. You guys need to be in here early tomorrow morning. I want to see you at 7:30. We’re going to be drilling those augmented triads and chromatic harmonies non-stop. I mean non-stop. I’m not going to be happy if you screw it up for everyone. You guys think you got that diminished seventh chord? Remember, just think of it as a tweaked major sixth. Get that in your head and don’t forget it.

Mansour’s gonna be backing all you guys up on maracas. Joe, can you handle that? I know that’s new for you but I think you’re ready. Now listen, everyone, when Javess has his saxophone solo everyone needs to just let him do his thing. Javess, it’s your time to shine. Show what you got. Really give it to ’em. I want their heads spinning with those runs and arpeggios.

Be aware – I mean be ready – for the beat change in the last verse. That’s gonna bring this whole thing to a head, really get everyone on their feet.

McClain, you’re lead guitar. So are you, Kemp. And you, Willis. And most of special teams. Sorry, but there’s just too many guys here for one person to play one instrument. We’re going to have to double up, but we’ll have to make it work. The rest of you guys just sing back up on choruses. Learn the choruses!

Now look Kendrick, I know you’re really into jazz fusion, but I’m making the call right now. It’s classic rock. YOu know, covers. Maybe some original stuff, eventually, but we’re not there yet. That’s the kind of thing that works in this town and I think that’s going to get us noticed more than anything. If this were a more gentrified urban environment I’d say jazz fusion is worth looking at – but it’s not and so we’re not. These people are paying to hear the hits they know, not a bunch of jamming. I know, there’s a place for that. But that’s not our thing. Classic rock is gonna be our thing.

Also, we need a name. I was thinking the Groovetucky Wildcats, but I’m not married to it. Any other ideas? I also like names Chop Block and The Down Linemen. I have a piece of paper where I wrote a bunch of names down; I’ll bring it in tomorrow and read it off and we can see if there’s any we all like.

I don’t want to get you guys too excited, but I know a guy at the Toasted Barrel who says that Tuesday nights we might be able to open for their headliners. I don’t want to speak too soon, I don’t know if that stage can support 80 guys. You know, structurally. But we’ll see. If that happens, it could be the beginning of something great.

Everybody good? Know what you’re doing, where you’re going? I feel really good, guys. I think we’re gonna be really big. My cousin’s friend works for a record label, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m just saying to leave it all out there on the stage.

Let’s do this. Bring it in. “Rock n’ Roll” on three.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

All I want is a HI-C and a turkey sandwich. @CM_Tomlin

14 Comments for High Performance Coach Erik Korem Pushing the Wildcats to the Next Level

  1. Tumbleweed
    2:11 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    It has been a painfully slow news day. Indiana hasn’t even done anything stupid we can make fun of.

  2. Sir Brandon
    2:18 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    Excellent as usual. Stoops will calleth for more cowbell.

  3. SeaCat
    2:28 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink


  4. Drew Franklin
    2:41 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    Another Tomlin classic. I giggled.

  5. beardbrain
    2:47 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    touché moderator, well played.

  6. prof giles
    2:53 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    If you can’t say something nice about C.M.’s article, then say nothing at all.

  7. Linda Taylor
    3:03 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    That was great Tomlin but you forgot to remind the trumpets about where in the supertonic 7 chord they resolve down while the trombones resolve up. That is very important to make the greatest impact on the listeners. Also I would love to try out that football helmet guitar, though I doubt it has very good acoustics.

  8. Blue Jesus
    3:08 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    Go ahead and put this up on the “Top Story” bulletin.

  9. Awesome
    3:44 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    This article is much like spilling milk on a woman’s blous but instead of milk it’s awesomeness and instead of a woman’s blouse it is KSR

    Two thumbs up guy!

  10. Bmack
    4:19 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    Excellent post. I’m disappointed, however, that you didn’t remind the boys of one crucial rule: never perform a free-form jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd.

  11. KYStout
    7:41 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    This post by C.M. Tomlin was pure literature.

    And bless you too Linda Taylor.

    From 9 stories up on the beach overlooking a glorious sunset on thr Gulf of Mexico I say this:

    GO CATS, GO BIG BLUE!! I’m proud to be a son of Kentucky!

  12. BlueMoonofKentucky
    10:40 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    This post was so good I thought it was from Mrs. Tyler.
    There’s some poetry here, Tomlin. Thank you.
    Now. Do it again.

  13. BlueTrudy
    6:19 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    I have a piece of paper where I wrote a bunch of names down; I’ll bring it in tomorrow and read it off and we can see if there’s any we all like. That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time!!!!

  14. Tampa Satchel
    7:38 am September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Tomlin-In my opinion your posts are hit or miss, but I respect the fact that you take chances in you writing. Having said that, I believe this is the best I have seen from you. Clever and well written. My hats off to you!