When you first are able to find your passion and now have decided this is where I want be, you must now figure out the process on how to achieve these goals. Nothing great in life ever comes easy and those who think they are "owed" something, tend to dwindle away very quickly and are working desk jobs. Somewhere along the line they lost "The Process" and decided that they were either content with where they were and/or they lost the drive needed to succeed in that field. From having been around this game so long, I once forgot my process. I had forgotten what made me great and was content on not evolving into something different. Through vast studies of the human brain, which were experienced first hand, through some pretty bad concussions, I came to realize that this is the part of the game most guys are missing. Some simply never were taught the proper mind control and you can tell are reckless players who also carry that off the field. You can master all of the training in the world and become a athletic freak, but if you cannot control what you have, you will find yourself lost in the vast wilderness of life after football. So let's define YOUR process, so we can avoid what you think is a catastrophe.
Defining Your Process
Every individual is born completely differently and is made up of thousands cells that work together vigorously to make us function. I found a exert to back up my very OBVIOUS conclusion, from constantly studying people in general and kicking/playing through concussions. I have also have signed with 19 pro teams up until this point, so I have gotten the chance to meet a extremely diverse selection of people, most I call friends. Here is what www.ScanBerlin.com had to say about "The Athletic Brain'. "First of all, mental processes that need to be taken into account for top performance accomplishment in sports are, for example, motivation, selective attention, goal setting, working memory and decision making. All these processes also happen “between our ears” – in the command center in our head – and contribute to our performance in various ways.
Second, and this might often be overlooked, our brain controls motor execution as well. When bending your leg to kick a football or stretching your arm to dynamically dive into water, the respective motor areas in your brain are active and constitute the cause of these actions7."
What exactly does this mean in let's say, Football talk! Well, as you can see they mention a portion about kickers, but let's start at the top and go through the examples given. The first one has to be the easiest to train and that is motivation! If you do not have the motivation to put in the work, then I would go find something that actually motivates you. For example, I have found that some kids parents are dictating the entire process to their respective children, when maybe that is not their true calling in life. Delaying finding that true calling is not in the parenting handbook, in my most humble opinion. Some kids are just not built for the sport of Football and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But once we find that motivation, we must maintain that motivation every single day, by any means possible. We must wake up every morning trying to master every fine detail, in order for the big things to come to fruition.
Secondly, they mention selective attention which the definition is : "the capacity for or process of reacting to certain stimuli selectively when several occur simultaneously." Basically this is stating you have multiple things occurring on the field at once, like a running back having to make a quick decisive jump cut, to avoid Ray Lewis. Only to find out that was the wrong stimuli response needed and have to go back to the drawing board, after laying flat on his back. The running back's selective attention was not up to the standards it needed to be and the synapses did not react quick enough, to the reaction. I would think that Quarterback's would have to have superior "Selective Attention", because of all they have to compartmentalize very quickly and decisively.
Goal Setting is a tricky one because it appears to me that everyone has the same SUPER STAR goals, but fail to set small goals to make the larger dream a reality. This is where developing a everyday "process" can really start to change your outlook. We must conquer our fears and find a way to make our weaknesses our strengths in this game, or you will be devoured. Why? Well, as I stated above, everyone and their dog wants to play football, at a high level. So do you think they are sitting around watching the NCAA basketball tournament all day, or are they breaking down every fine detail of their respective film, to achieve greatness? Are the proper hours being put in to the intuitive training that is constantly evolving today? What good is that Masters degree if everything has changed and you were left behind, in the dust, with a piece of paper. The best I have met at their profession admit that they kept learning everyday after they received that piece of paper. We should never stop learning or evolving, for the simple fact or fear of being passed up.
Working memory is the ability to juggle things in your head, and the ability to solve problems while shifting through them. This also would play a HUGE role in most athletic situations, because we have a lot of problems on the field. For example, a linebacker in blitzing and gets cut blocked, only to get picked up by the fullback and somehow solves that problem with a outstanding swim move, after regaining balance. This is solving the problem in a very quick synaptic way and using your supreme athletic prowess to the max. I have a great article to link about the "Athletic Brain" and also on why "Working Memory" is so important in sports. Here is a exert from axon potential. “Our study shows that both the slot and pool models are true,” says Miller. “The two hemispheres of the visual brain work like slots, but within each slot, it’s a pool. We also found that the bottleneck is not in the remembering, it is in the perceiving.” That is, when the capacity for each slot is exceeded, the information does not get encoded very well….
What is so interesting about these findings is that they can be used to great effect right away. It is rare that neuroscientific research is so immediately and broadly applicable.
“The fact that we have different capacities in each hemisphere implies that we should present information in a way that does not overtax one hemisphere while under-taxing the other,” explains Buschman. “For example, heads-up displays (transparent projections of information that a driver or pilot would normally need to look down at the dashboard to see) show a lot of data. Our results suggest that you want to put that information evenly on both sides of the visual field to maximize the amount of information that gets into the brain.”
"The application to sports can be immediate as well. Let’s think about a football quarterback. A quarterback with an average working memory capacity can accurately keep track of and make good decisions about four receivers at a time. This research implies that receiver sets that space receivers more evenly across the quarterback’s visual field could optimize his working memory capacity, and possibly make it easier for him to find the open man or make good decisions.
On the other side of the ball, blitzing defenses might use the strategy of overloading one side of the quarterback’s visual field, with the knowledge that it will be nearly impossible for the quarterback to keep track of each defender, due to the limitations of working memory and perception.
This knowledge has huge potential to inform play design in football, basketball, or any other sport where manipulating player position could be used to create an advantage based on exploiting the weaknesses of our brain’s working memory capacity. It is just one more example of how neuroscience is opening doors for the thinking coach and athlete to gain an advantage."
Decision making is crucial in sports and our brain handles all of that, including all of our motor function. When Aaron Rodgers drops back to pass he must make use his quick synaptic readings and quick release to deliver the ball to the proper destination. He obviously has trained his brain to make the proper decisions, while firing his muscles to make the proper reaction, to push the ball down field like no other. So how do we become like Aaron Rodgers? Or like Adam Viniteri? Or like any other amazing athlete in the sport of football? We find a way to master their process and tweak it, to make it our own.
Creating Your Process
So now that we know a little about how we cognitively function, how do we master these skills? Football is a game of inches and sometimes life comes down to one decision or another, that ultimately effects our final destination. The trickle effect in life and sport is so significant, I can relay story after story of studying the superior athlete. Studying my actions to reactions off the field was not fun, but I had to learn from my mistakes if I was going to attempt to coach in the game I love. Studying my actions to reactions on the field always made me smile and I then realized I had to become more mentally sound. If you know me, I do not do anything at even 90 %. I have such a high motor that is sometimes difficult being a kicker. But that process is being mastered through mental training and diet. So we must all create a everyday process, in order to achieve optimal success on the field and master the 5.5' golf course, Bobby Jones spoke of back in the day. My process started in my Bible and trusting in my lord and savior Jesus Christ and mastering his process first, which is also a ever evolving process. Each process is going to be different and figuring out the why's and making necessary corrections are vital for optimal growth. So first you must find the right source of knowledge to train "smarter not harder" and maximize your full God given potential. Simply put, no one will have all of the answers, but I do have a lists of GOAT coaches at every position at hand. See success is something most people think is given out freely these days and while participation trophies are at a all time high, so is the hypocrisy. So we must earn every accomplishment/opportunity on our own.
There is nothing better than having a great coach around to help you master those fine details that only their eye can see. I have been working with the great Sam Watts and have learned so many valuable lessons here in Arizona. I feel as if he is truly the best at accessing a kicker/punters technique and then fixing it. He will make sure you hit your full potential as a specialist and truly cares about the individual in a Christ like manner. This I obviously value and am extremely elated to be able to work with such a outstanding coach overall. I see a very high ceiling for him as a coach as well, with his deep knowledge of the kicking game and once again, I am honored to be here with him in Phoenix Arizona.
I get to meet (for a 2nd time) the great Gary Zauner tomorrow, after getting to catch up on the phone today. Coach Zauner is a historic NFL figure who was the Special Teams Coordinator for Baltimore Ravens for 17 years! He is gracious enough to throw a free agent kicking camp that offers a chance to be seen by the NFL and CFL, here in Phoenix Arizona. These two men are successful because they have MASTERED their process and it clearly shows.
We must all find our "process" and "calling" in life and once we do, we must maintain a regiment to keep it moving in the right direction. The regiment can be tweaked or totally overhauled if need be, but you must form a daily routine and stick to it. When your practicing the right technique over and over, you can make those synapses fire properly in your muscle structure. If you are practicing the wrong technique and developing bad habits, your going to have difficulties re-wiring the system. All in all, nothing is going to beat hard work and diligence, but fixing technical issues does not take pumping iron or running laps. It takes knowledge of the right technique and a "smarter not harder approach", to make these muscles fire the proper way. Now I have one question for my athlete's at Scout Trout and that is what are you willing to sacrifice to be a GOAT? How much time, energy and commitment do you have? Let's really test that motivation factor and see how bad you really want it? It's a dog eat dog world and we must learn to overcome, conquer and trust the PROCESS! Once again thank you to everyone involved with Scout Trout Enterprises, you are all greatly appreciated!
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Merf Trout - Owner Scout Trout Elite LLC