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Saturday, March 1, 2014


The following comes from "Finding The Winning Edge" by Bill Walsh.  It's obviously directed towards the football position of quarterback but I've passed it out to our point guards down the years as well.  Any sport with player that is a central figure, play caller, or leader would benefit from this as a passout. 

Functional intelligence. The ability of a player to organize and isolate different categories of tasks that he must perform in a particular situation is commonly referred to as functional intelligence. This ability is the key to being able to instantly process information on in highly stressful situations.

Ability to learn. A quarterback must have the ability to develop and adhere to the proper mechanics for playing quarterback. For some athletes, the learning process will be intuitive—almost natural-requiring minimal effort on their part. For other individuals, the steps to understand and to ingrain these abilities will require more time and hands-on instruction.

Willingness to improve. An inherent willingness to improve and learn is vital to the developmental progression of a quarterback. With regard to the learning process, a quarterback must have a reasonable level of compatibility with the coaching staff and his teammates.

Good work ethic. Not only should a quarterback understand the proper mechanics for his position, he must also spend an appropriate amount of time working on them. The most effective approach in this regard is frequent repetitive practice.

Emotional stability. A quarterback must have the ability to handle the stress and pressures that occur during the game. He must be able to control his emotions to a point where he can think clearly, evaluate his options, and act rationally, regardless of the situation.

Leadership abilities. A quarterback should lead by example. In this regard, his performance during the game is crucial. While different quarterbacks will have different leadership styles, ranging from somewhat casual, not particularly demonstrative to vocal and very demanding, all successful quarterbacks exhibit the proper mind set, the necessary poise, and the absolute focus required for the position while on the field-characteristics which are often subsequently emulated by their teammates.