Football is like war. One of the golden rules of success on the gridiron is that “it all comes down to blocking and tackling.” And nothing symbolizes this better than the game-long clash between the offensive line and the defensive line.
The success of a football team ultimately boils down to man versus man combat. Are you better than the man across from you? You have to defeat that man for your team to win.
Dr. Nate Zinnser of the Center for Enhanced Performance at the United States Military Academy at West Point gives three points for developing the warrior mindset: train your mind, trust your training, and visualize.
Train Your Mind
It is not physically and psychologically demanding training and competition that build a tough warrior mindset. It’s the perceptions and thoughts that you internalize before, during, and after tough practices, workouts and games. Warriors think and believe like champions because they view demanding training as opportunities to hone their craft with eagerness rather than with doubt and discontent.
Trust Your Training
It is the coach’s duty to develop your skills and put you in the best place to succeed. It is your duty to trust your ability to execute, and to use your skills to defeat your opponent. You need to practice techniques such as proper footwork, hip explosion and hand placement until you can do them in your sleep and until every single lineman learns them. Trust your training and focus on what you can control—your intensity, your drive, your ferocity. This is what will make you better than the man across from you.
Using imagery allows you to achieve mental readiness and execute with decisiveness. Create realistic mental scenarios. See yourself putting your opponent on his back or avoiding a block and sacking the quarterback. See and feel every detail—the color of your opponent’s uniform, the smell of the grass, the precision of your technique, and the roar of the crowd. Make it real in your mind and you can make it real on the field.
Somewhere out there right now, someone is preparing for the day you both meet. How prepared will you be? Start getting ready with the 2013 STACK Summer Football Training Guide.