It's not just a matter of hot-dogging it on the football field during weekend games for a player. The game itself is beautiful, challenging and fun, yet it carries responsibilities. You will need to take care of your conditioning, show respect for team policies and understand your role down to the last detail to make the strongest contribution to the team.
Learning Your Position
Football players must understand the roles and tasks their position is involved with in the coaches' scheme. You should learn the skills involved with your position and understand what exactly you are being asked to do for the success of the team. For example, you may be asked to be an option-run quarterback more than a passing quarterback. You must then work on speed, quick decision-making abilities and ball handling.
You must know the playbook and what you're supposed to do on each play call. Players cause errors and create missed play assignments If they do not know what they should be doing on each play. So even if a player possesses the most incredible athleticism, their abilities cannot be optimally used if they cannot be depended on to know each play.
You must know responsibilities as well as plays. For example, offensive lineman must know blocking responsibilities for various run plays to prepare for different defensive looks. A common blocking responsibility entails checking whether a defender is in your blocking gap, directly in front of you, over the area the ball is heading towards and following the linebacker. Going down this checklist lets a lineman know who he should block specifically -- rather than saying they block the defensive tackle or end -- because it may be different each time that particular play is called depending on the defensive look.
You must adhere to protocols and policies set forth by the organization or school they play for. Not maintaining a minimum grade-point average, getting in trouble with the law or breaking substance abuse policies for example can have you suspended from games or kicked off the team entirely. Each school, institution, organization and coach has rules to abide by. Bruce Brown, author of "Teaching Character Through Sport: Developing a Positive Coaching Legacy," states that the main components of most policies and rules is that a player must demonstrate discipline, respect and integrity.
Football demands a high level of physical fitness to succeed. Being faster, stronger and more agile than your opponent -- and your teammates -- allows for an increased chance of team success. If a player is not conditioned enough to last in a game, his skills essentially become useless. Many coaches provide training and conditioning programs that the players are responsible for during the offseason.
- Teaching Character Through Sport: Developing a Positive Coaching Legacy; Bruce E. Brown
- The Football Code: Football's Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Honor; Ross Bernstein