American Football isn’t all about lifting weights and running sprints. It’s a game that requires you think, analyze, scheme and react: all in a very short period of time. A common comparison made to American football is a ‘Violent Game of Chess ‘ – a sport where you must always be three steps ahead of your opponent, but also willing to knock him into next week. And while the physical side of the game is crucial, there is much more to being a football player.
- A willingness to learn
It doesn’t matter if you’re an absolute buck rookie or a ten-year vet. You can always learn more about the sport. Almost every time I watch an NFL game I’ll notice something I didn’t before, or a new defensive scheme. If your eyes and mind are open you will absorb everything you need to know to be a successful football player.
- Be Coachable
This attribute ties in with the previous point. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with American football will at some point have heard the quote: “ Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” If you bring a positive mindset and attitude to every training session, and follow your Coach’s advice and instruction, you’ll flourish as a player. You mightn’t be the biggest, the fastest or the tallest. But you’ll certainly stand out. Remember: Your Coaches are there for a reason; to help you meet your goals and to succeed on the field.
- Play with all your heart
Football is a game that requires you to give everything. Every block and every tackle. “Leave everything on the field” There is nothing more frustrating than coming off after a game and thinking to yourself: “I should have done that” or “ I should have tried harder.” And the only way to play your best on the field is to prepare off it. This preparation starts in the gym during pre season. It comes with learning your plays. It’s your nutrition and your sleep. It’s everything you do before you play football. Some people put their hearts and souls into football. These are the ones that succeed.
If you’ve ever watched an NFL game and thought to yourself “I’d love to give that a shot” then why don’t you? There are over 20 teams in Ireland right now that play full contact football. And they’re always recruiting!