Over the years, I have become a big fan of football - less because of what goes on during the games as what happens behind the scenes. One need only look at the life of a professional football player or coach to understand the difference between the work ethic of someone who is a moderate success, and someone who ascends to the ultimate top of his/her field.
This has been a fantastic week for that curiosity on my part. First, there's a great article in Sports Illustrated about the preparation that Derek Brooks makes every week. The article is reprinted here. Relevant quote:
"It may be surprising that a 10-time Pro Bowl linebacker would study players who are still three or four years from making it to the NFL. But even now, the day before he faced the Vikings, the 35-year-old Brooks settled into his den again to watch Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and running back Percy Harvin in the Gators’ rout of South Carolina. “Some people relax or get recharged by going to Europe or going to the beach,” Brooks said. “For me it’s studying young kids. The one edge I feel no one will ever have over me is the mental edge of knowing players.”
This is a guy who is a veteran and future Hall of Famer. Anybody care to guess what got him there?
Even more interesting is this week's version Peter King's "Monday Morning QB" column - King breaks down the week that the Arizona Cardinals just had and exactly what the schedule was:
"From 8 p.m. to midnight, the coaches met to finish the gameplan, working on red-zone, goal-line and nickel plays. Most coaches were at the facility for 17 hours, minimum, on Monday."
The work required to be successful at the level of NFL players should be instructive as to what it takes to be at that level in any career or job.