Friday, September 13, 2013

Heart, The Win Column and Why Belt Loops Matter in Football

A great man once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Let's talk about snappers.

No glory in their job. None of the stats. None of the fanfare. And yet, a team lacking a skilled long snapper can be seriously undermined. Scholarships for snappers used to be rare, but have become more popular as colleges begin to recognize the importance of special teams. And justifiably so. Special teams can make or break you in the game of football.

It takes a certain type of individual to step onto that field each practice, each game, knowing that all their work typically won't get them an ounce of credit or recognition from the folks in the stands. And yet, those warriors show up. They put the work in. And they do it for their team. Every team has that QB, or running back or wide receiver that gets all the press. That puts up the stats. That the crowd loves. Even the kickers and punters are getting love! But the only time that snapper gets acknowledged is when he screws up. So I'd say it takes a lot of guts and heart to continually put yourself in that position. The unsung hero. They're out there for the love of the game...for the team. And you know what? The team would collapse without them.

Nope, there's no stat column for these guys. There's no post game "celebrity". But there's also no extra point. No game winning field goal...there's no high deep punt setting the opposing team up with horrible field position...there's no check in the "win" column. Ah so wait, maybe we've just stumbled upon it. THAT'S the stat column we've been looking for. So every time you see the check go in that "win" column, know that a snapper had a lot to do with it...though you won't hear about it at all. Like I said, it takes a certain type of individual. An exceptional individual. The epitome of "team" member.

A belt holds your pants up, but the belt loops hold that belt up.

Take care of your snapper. Don't be caught with your pants down.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stretching, Adjusting, Adapting....and Tutus.

flexibility: flexi·bili·ty: 1. Capable of being bent or flexed; pliable. 2. Capable of being bent
repeatedly without damage. 3. Responsive to change; adaptable.

Interesting. Three simple definitions. Even MORE interesting when you look at it from three different angles.

Ok, let's examine. First angle , the obvious. "Capable of being bent or flexed; pliable."

You're a kicker, punter, a snapper...that means you clearly need to get your stretch on...let's be real. And that's no easy process. Rome wasn't built in a day...and flexible muscles aren't either. It's a commitment. And not a "pain free" commitment by the by. So just go in knowing it's a necessary evil and bite the bullet. Make stretching a part of your day... go hop into a yoga class or pop in a dvd...or a ballet class...don't scoff at that idea...I can see your eye rolls from here...but the reality is, a lot of the top college and NFL players have said yoga and ballet have helped elevate their give it a try sometime...but uh, maybe just pass on the tutu. Either way, get a SOLID stretch session in everyday.

Ok, let's look at it from our second angle, shall we? "Capable of being bent repeatedly without damage."

How do you respond to pressure? How do you respond when a team ices you? When something goes wrong in your form, how do you make sure you only make it a bad kick, and not a game-changing disastrous kick? Bad stuff will happen, but who can still put those ugly kicks through the uprights, or punt a 40 yarder end over end, or wobble a snap back right on the hip? Don't let setbacks affect and damage you and your mental game.

And now our third angle... "Responsive to change; adaptable."

Are you coachable? Are you adaptable to changes in your form? Are you the type of player coaches WANT to coach? Solid character can get you places. On AND off the field. Absorb like a sponge. The learning never stops. No matter what level you're on.

Flexibility. It can mean much more than just the obvious to a specialist when lacing up the cleats...just leave the tutu at one will ever know.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.