Football players are typically a rare breed of individuals. They live for the big hits and the loud stadiums full of cheering fans. The fans only see the games which are once a week either on Friday (high-school), Saturday (College) or Sunday (NFL). They don’t understand the amount of work that goes on behind closed doors that allows these football players to perform on game-day.
The truth is, these football players put in hours each day during the week to perfect their craft. Players in college must attend classes as well as meetings and practice. This puts a great deal of stress on the players however it teaches them responsibility. Playing football also teaches these players the meaning of teamwork and discipline.
So what makes a football player a great football player? Is it speed? Is it strength or size? Believe it or not it is neither. What makes a great football player is someone is willing to do what everyone else is not. This means staying late after practice to run sprints, to catch extra balls to practice a bit more on their technique. It’s the little things that separate the great for the good. You don’t need to be the fastest and the biggest or strongest to be a great football player.
Why is it that so many players in the NFL go undrafted because they were looked at as too small or too slow or simply just not good enough? It is because these players that are aware of their limitations make up for their lack of natural ability by studying the game and finding ways to outsmart their opponents. The question I see asked of those athlete’s who say they want to be great is “how bad do you want it?” Are they willing to stay late and practice while everyone else goes home? Are they willing to study the playbook when everyone is out having a good time? If they are then they will get an edge that over their opponents who may be better athletes or bigger and stronger.
Another thing to be aware of is being able to read your opponents body language. If you are a defensive lineman then you must be able to read your opponents hand placements and see if they are tired or what they plan on doing before they do it. If an offensive lineman has his hand in the dirt and is leaning forward, they most likely are coming across to run block straight ahead and that’s when you use their momentum against them and shed them.
There are so many ways to become a great football player. Look for ways to do things that others regularly wouldn’t do.