Feb 18, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
Editor’s Note: Former University of Richmond quarterback John Laub (’12) is currently training for the Spiders’ Pro Day and a shot to play at the next level. Join him on his journey as he shares his thoughts and experiences alongside his coach and three training partners in a series of weekly blog posts. Laub’s third post can be found here.
Hello again CAA Football Fans and thanks for following along as I continue on my path towards that 405! I’m sure that with the NFL Combine in Indianapolis approaching this week, many of you will get to watch some of the top players in this year’s draft perform the various tests that I’ve mentioned before in previous posts.
Every year it seems that people fixate on the 40-yard dash event and it’s actually where some people in the draft truly “make their money,” so to speak. While performing well in the on-field tests increases one’s draft stock, so too does the player’s personality in terms of how their character is perceived off the field.
I’m going to talk a little bit about this side of things in today’s post. Our coaches at SSI are helping my training partners and me in this area so we can show teams and their scouts that we are a good off-the-field investment as well.
Thus far in the training process, we have had different individuals come and speak to us, including a former top-ranking CIA official, Washington Redskins Pro Bowler Lorenzo Alexander, Pastor Randy Beeman and a number of others. Each of these individuals have given us advice and insight from their personal experiences in order to help us moving forward in this process. They’ve talked about everything from professionalism to trust and credibility and how these factors work within a team or organization. Lorenzo Alexander shared his story of going from college to where he is now.
Being able to listen to and take advice from some extremely intelligent people and those who have a vast range of experiences only helps us moving forward. I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the things Pastor Beeman has been sharing with us over these past eight weeks because they have been particularly profound.
Pastor Beaman was formerly a Chaplain for the University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Team and still keeps in contact with head coach Bill Self and many former Jayhawk players who have moved on to play professionally. It’s nice to have the opportunity to hear from someone like him who has a background working with athletes competing at a high level.
In his most recent visit with us, he talked about dealing with pressure in your life. There was one part of his speech that really stuck out to me. It had to do with having a great support system. I personally feel there is no way in the world that I would be in the position I am in today if it weren’t for my family’s constant support throughout my life. My parents are truly my greatest role models and have been there for me through all of the ups and downs that I’ve had to deal with in my life. The importance of a good support team is that you have people to go to when the pressure mounts up.
This support system can really come in any form. I’ve always had my family to rely on, and for the past four-and-a-half years I’ve had my brothers at the University of Richmond as well. You build that bond as teammates because you go through the same pressures, so you can rely on them to be there for you when things start to get tough. Coach Rocco also quoted Scripture, saying, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” And this is so true in every sense. Your support system is there to help sharpen you as a man and help you get past daily pressures. A strong support system helps you when you’re going through a process like mine right now because I’m trying to turn the game I love into a profession and there’s a ton riding on that. It strengthens you as a person and helps you deal with circumstances you may face throughout this process.
I know that the ability to deal with pressure may not necessarily be conveyed when talking to a general manager, but being able to do so and having a good support system behind you can help their team. I think it’s vitally important to never forget the people that are there to help you. Those individuals help deal with issues and pressures that arise, especially now for the athletes entering the draft class given the pressure to perform and earn the right to make a roster. That pressure alone is through the roof.
That your support system can shape you into a strong individual who can deal with these pressures is something that can be conveyed in talking to a team’s general manager. Having Pastor B come in and talk to us about that reminded me just how much my support system has shaped me into an individual who can be strong and deal with the pressures I face in this process and to overcome those pressures so I can bring out the best in myself.
I hope that this post gave you a look into a different side of the process apart from 40-dash times and the type of training that goes into shedding tenths of a second off the different tests. The type of person you are, aside from the type of football player your are, is a huge part of the overall package that you can bring to a team and that can’t be forgotten throughout this process.
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