It’s football season! Some thoughts from our coaches

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We asked members of the QB Country staff to provide some advice for quarterbacks in preparation for the 2022 season. From starting for the first time to handling a back-up role, here’s what they had to share (answers below from Reese Phillips/QBC Chattanooga, Ben Neill/QBC Birmingham, Malik Rosier/QBC Tampa, Landry Klann/QBC Dallas, Charley Loeb/QBC Atlanta):

What would you tell a QB who worked his tail off to start but learned he didn’t get the job?

RP: Understand this isn’t the end, the work you put in wasn’t for nothing. Especially at QB, your shot is never far away. Continue to prepare well and approach every week like you’re the starter.

LK: It’s not over. You’re only one play away from being the guy and getting your opportunity. This could be from the starter going down with an injury, or it could be because the coaches aren’t happy with how it’s going and they put you in to try and get something going. Either way you must focus on things WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. You can’t allow the uncertainty of playing affect the way you prepare.

Being the back-up actually requires more discipline to be and STAY ready, because it’s so easy to just bury your head in the sand and assume you won’t get a chance. Don’t allow yourself to become a spectator during the game. Remain an active participant! Know the situation of the game at all times! Understand what the defense is doing against you and what you would have done on each play. Take advantage of mental reps. Be a leader on the sidelines by encouraging your teammates and staying locked in to the game.

The only thing worse than not getting the job, is finally getting your opportunity and not being prepared for it. I believe this is a healthy fear to make sure you’re ready to take advantage when you get your chance.

CL: First off you are you. The day before when you were competing for the job and the day after when you lost it, nothing changed. Your confidence, your abilities, your value should not be affected by what just happened. Being disappointed is OK but let’s jump back on the wagon as fast as possible. Second, let’s figure out what controllable actions we can improve. What scenarios did we not react appropriately to, either mentally or physically, and how can we better train for them next time?

MR: Control what you can control. Whether it’s high school, college or the pros, everyone even – Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers – had to sit behind another QB. Enjoy the process, not the outcome.

How would you approach your first opportunity as a starter?

CL: Keep it simple. To know myself and what fits into what I do well. Work hard to marry up the objectives of the staff and scheme with my abilities. From this comfortable starting point all growth can naturally come.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you would have had as a high school QB?

BN: Competition can be stressful, but it’s not supposed to be. That’s just your ego talking. Competing is caring less about the result and giving everything you have to that moment. It’s saying, I don’t know how good I am, but this is the real me. This is everything I have, let the chips fall where they may!

CL: Trust yourself. If you have done the hard work in the offseason and continued to be dedicated in-season, you have earned the right to be confident. Let your instincts and training take over on gameday.

What’s the best part about playing QB?

MR: My favorite part of playing QB is the responsibility and privilege that comes with controlling an entire game. It doesn’t always happen, but when you understand every aspect of what’s happening around you and know you have full command, it’s a feeling unlike any other.

CL: The opportunity for leadership. We work so hard on all the things that we do, how we perform, think, strategize, but at the end of the day even if we are perfect we still won’t win the game alone. Football is the ultimate team sport and as a QB and leader it’s about how many guys can we bring along with us as we look to relentlessly pursue winning!

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