Friday, October 19, 2012

Stay Focused - Play with Energy

      The high school football game that I watched last night was a game that I need to see once in a while. Just like I travel to rural school settings to watch excellent high school football, I like to go into a city to watch good inner city football. Maybe not all of the big time college prospects, but good coaching and maybe I can find  a "diamond in the rough" or two.
      If I am a sophomore and measure about 6'2-270 and start on both the offensive and the defensive lines, I may be a potential college recruit. If I run well and can change direction, I may be a potential college recruit. If my take off is good, if I play pad under pad, if I can find the ball and finish plays, I may be a potential college recruit. Finally, if my grades are just okay now, but I work hard to improve them, I may be a potential college recruit.
     But if I walk on and off the field, I need to change my attitude. If when coming back from the halftime break, I just walk, instead of jogging 50 yards toward my team doing warm-ups, I need to change my attitude. During the play, especially on defense, if I pursue hard and go to the whistle, but walk slowly back to the huddle, I need to change my attitude.  Whenever I can, I walk.
      I watched a sophomore last night who has the potential to be a Division I player coming out of his senior year. There a lot of things that he does well, and I like him. Granted just a sophomore, but he needs to show a lot more energy. He needs to develop that energy level now, so that those good habits continue into next year. This winter he needs those good habits. If he has a chance to go some camps next summer, he needs to show coaches that he has energy, not only when he does a drill, but anytime he needs to hustle instead of walk.
      For all of the young players who have the aspirations of playing Division I college football, making the tackle, or the block, or the catch, or the run is important. But what you do between the plays is equally important to college recruiters. Running on and off the field. Walking slowly back to the huddle. Not staying involved with the game, while on the sidelines. No energy in pre-game. To me, these mistakes all come under attitude. That is, poor attitude. Good college evaluators will see that. Although I am not a good college evaluator, why do you think I prefer the sidelines to the pressbox?
      Finally, if you are a "no-brainer" football recruit who only shows effort during the play, some college coaches will take a chance and sign you. We see that all of the time. But if you have okay talent with a bad attitude, good luck. The simple answer is bust your butt all of the time. Stay focused and show energy, especially, if you are a sophomore with talent.

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