Some of the qualities of great NFL quarterbacks are quite obvious and well known
by coaches and by football fans. Top quarterbacks tend to be about 6’3” tall and they
typically weigh about two hundred and fifteen pounds. In addition, they need a strong
throwing arm, quick feet, the ability to read defenses, outstanding vision, fine reflexes,
clock management skills, self-discipline, focus, confidence and a personality which
allows them to stay calm under pressure.
The great quarterbacks also tend to be good leaders and outstanding communicators.
Politicians have the luxury of using speech writers to assist them when they need
to communicate with their publics. Quarterbacks need to be able to communicate
effectively with the players and the coaches during the heat of fast paced battle.
Several years ago, a talented young quarterback came to see me because he
wanted to learn how he could better relate to and communicate with his teammates
in the huddle. This fine young man had all the physical tools of a great football
general. He was a star in high school, but had more difficulty managing the
members of his college team who came from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
This young man was rather quiet, shy and soft spoken and he was having some
difficulty in motivating and encouraging his teammates, particularly when they
were faced with pressure and chaos which are often present in an important
and close game.
The first thing I helped him with was the building of his own self-confidence.
Once I built him up a bit, and his self-confidence grew, we started to discuss how
he could improve his relationships with his teammates.
We spent some time working on his communication style and on bettering
his on and off field relationships with his teammates. He made a point to spend
more time off the field with members of the football team. I suggested that
he keep a journal on each of this teammates which would remind him of what
might motivate them during the course of a game.
Once he understood more about the other players, it was easy to develop
more effective ways to talk to each and every member of his offensive team.
I familiarized him with motivational speeches and gave him some suggestions
as to how to inspire, motivate, encourage and get his teammates focused on the
bench and in the huddle. After all, I spend a lot my time giving emotional pep
talks to patients every day.
A good quarterback needs to know how each of his teammates is likely to
behave during a game. He also needs to know that what motivates lineman to
block effectively may not be the same thing which inspires receivers to perform well.
He also needs to know what he needs to do get his teammates to feel positively about
These kinds of management and leadership skills are not easy for a young athlete
to learn. Consider how hard it is for experienced managers, leaders and executives to
communicate effectively with their staffs and their employees.
However, a young athlete who develops these interpersonal skills is building
a foundation to be a fine leader in sports and in his off the field profession.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is the Founder of www.StayInTheZone.com Dr. Granat
counsels athletes and parents of athletes and he has developed a number of
products to help people get in the zone and stay there. The products are
described on this link: http://www.stayinthezone.com/1/
Dr. Granat can be reached at 888 580-ZONE or at firstname.lastname@example.org