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March 4, 2011TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama head football coach Saban warned against the problem of "self-limitation" on Friday night as he spoke at the kickoff event for the second annual Woods & Water Bass Invitational.
Proceeds from the fishing tournament benefit the Nick's Kids Fund, the charity set up by Saban and his wife Terry to benefit youth from the state of Alabama.
"Everyone has a fish story," Saban said. "This is the one I like to tell our team. When I was a kid, I used to go fishing in West Virginia and I never caught a fish, but I went with this man who caught fish every time. He would catch all kinds of fish, but he would throw back the big ones and keep the little ones. I wasn't catching anything, so I finally asked him why he was doing that, throwing back the big ones and keeping the little ones. And he said, 'Well, my frying pan at home is only 9 inches wide.'
"I tell our players that, because it is a great example of self-limitation. You can't exceed the limits you place on yourself.
"I thought that happened to our team last year. They got used to winning, so they started playing to win rather than playing to a standard. When you don't play to a standard, trying to be the best you can be in every game, you put limitations on yourself. I hope we will have more maturity than that this year. We only had eight seniors last year, so we should have a better balance of experienced players this year, but we also lost three great players (Julio Jones, Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus to the draft, so we will see how that affects us this spring."
Saban also pointed out that Nick's Kids has donated "close to a million-and-a-half dollars" to local charities and first-generation scholarships at UA in the four years since Saban took the head coaching job.