|Basics of a Quarter Back
There is no
question that quarterback is the most glamorous position on a
An offense must have a proficient player at the quarterback
position. Lack of ability at the other offensive positions may
be covered up, or compensated for, but if a team attempts to
play with a quarterback who lacks the physical skills and mental
abilities for the position, the weakness quickly will become
evident to everyone.
Because of the importance of the quarterback to a team's
success, the player at this position also will come under closer
scrutiny and be forced to play under greater pressure than many
of his teammates. The ability to play under pressure is a vital
part of a great quarterback's makeup.
When the offense is successful, most of the praise will be
directed toward the quarterback. Should the offense falter, the
quarterback often will find much of the criticism directed at
him. Young quarterbacks need to understand early in their
careers that neither the praise nor the criticism really is
justified, that both are magnified out of proportion, and that,
though a quarterback, he is just one player on a team. Many
young quarterbacks' careers often are ruined before they develop
by undue pressure applied by parents, coaches, teammates, and
the players' own perception of the importance of the position.
In order to survive, the young quarterback, even though he is
the offensive leader, must realize that the pressure of winning
or losing is not resting solely upon his shoulders, but that his
teammates also must share the responsibility for the team's
success or failure.
Many coaches, at all levels of football, believe that the
quarterback position requires a player with exceptional athletic
skill. This is especially true if the quarterback is asked to
direct a team in which one of his primary responsibilities is to
run with the ball.
For a passing team, pure athletic skill - speed and running
ability is not nearly as important as the player's ability to
set up correctly and throw the ball accurately with good
velocity to the proper receiver.
Height and weight may vary considerably from one quarterback to
another, but all successful quarterbacks have an inner strength
and belief in themselves. Each time they lead their offense out
onto the field, the great quarterbacks truly believe they will
move the ball and guide their team to victory.
Great quarterbacks bring an air of confidence to the field and
the huddle that is quickly transmitted to every player on the
offensive, and sometimes defensive, unit. Their mere presence
conveys the message that whatever it takes will be done to get
the ball down the field and score the winning points.
Along with determination, mental toughness, and physical skill,
a quarterback must be a leader. When he steps into the huddle,
he must command the respect and attention of each offensive
player. He must be able to take control and cause the other 10
men to execute whatever play he calls to the very best of their
If a quarterback calls a play with any indecision, the other
offensive players quickly will recognize his lack of conviction
and often will not perform with the same intensity. It is
especially important for young, beginning quarterbacks to
understand this fact and never enter the huddle until they are
absolutely certain of the play to be called.
A successful quarterback must enjoy taking charge of the
offense, he must speak with conviction and dedication, and he
must leave no doubt in anyone's mind that he is running the
offense on the field.
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