First off, I want to congratulate all of these high school kids who followed their dreams and reached their goal of playing collegiate football. February 4th was National Signing Day. These kids are evaluated and given a certain score. The premier athletes are considered 'Five Star', below them are the 'Four Star' recruits and so on. As I sit back and watched the Super Bowl, it amazes me that none of the starters for either team were considered 'Five Star' recruits out of high school. And that got me thinking...
I believe in pursuing goals with the end in mind. It is a long-term approach that supports success. When I read that Russell WIlson was only considered a 'Two Star' recruit out of high school, it tells me that his end goal was not playing collegiate football. He stepped on the field at North Carolina State and started as a Freshmen. Thats right, a 'Two Star' recruit was a four year starter in college. He aspired to be more than just a successful college player. His end goal was to not only make it to the NFL, but exceed as a starting quarterback for a team that drafted him to be a backup (Remember the Matt Flynn era in Seattle? Neither do I and it is because of Russell Wilson). He was told for a long time that he wouldn't be good enough. He is too short, too small, and all that other BS. To some, this might be viewed as a disadvantage. But for some, being considered "David" is what actually turns them into a "Goliath"!
So how do you teach hard work to an athlete who never had to work hard a day in their life? After all these years of coaching, this is one question I have not been able to answer. This dilemma is where some of these superbly talented "cant-miss" recruits slip up. They don't know how to grind. They don't know how to respond when challenged. They don't know how to deal with adversity. For guys like Russell Wilson, what is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily. Being a quarterback on the shorter side, he had to re-define how to play the position. He has a skill set that no other current NFL quarterback has. This is why he is thriving.
"David", I mean Russell, has nothing to lose, and because he has nothing to lose, he has the freedom to thumb his nose at the rules set by others. He plays the way he wants to play and what works for him. Every team passed on him in the draft at least two times, Seahawks included. Being "David" in a world of so-called "Giants" enabled him to develop a skill set and work ethic unmatched by others.
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!