Love and passion for the game and the process is not enough. To be a “Professional” in any field requires a certain degree of talent.
Just like any other competitive career market you must possess a certain degree of talent. If I wanted to become a great mathematician but struggled to understand and master algebra in high school I probably don’t have the aptitude, intelligence or let’s say talent to attain that goal.
Professional football requires a certain degree of talent. If you lack the base level talent you will not make it in professional football regardless of having an abundance of other quality traits.
Any player making it to a professional football training camp has been studied and evaluated by coaches and scouts and deemed talented enough to be given a chance to prove themselves in training camp. From this point on let’s assume everyone possesses enough talent.
What Are the Other Traits That Separate Players?
Next to talent I believe you must have a love and passion for the game and the process. Pro football is long, rigorous and demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. No matter how much allure the game brings in notoriety and money, without passion you will not succeed.
Not only must you love playing on Game Day you must enjoy the process of preparing:
- Professional football with its physical demands takes its toll on your body day after day.
- Professional football requires the same level of commitment in the classroom as it does on the field.
- Professional football players must learn and study the playbook, but also must put in extra time studying for their upcoming opponent.
The emotional toll is not often thought about. The majority of players are never secure in their job and carry the constant stress of being released at any time.
The daily grind of the same drills, study, and stress will wear on them if they don’t love the game and its process. Passion and enthusiasm allow you to put yourself in motion, in action, effortlessly and easily without reluctance.
Players who treat their career as not only a job but a discipline also have a greater chance of success. Much like the discipline of a martial artist, the professional football player must carry over his passion for the game and process into his personal life. This is done by taking care of himself with enough rest, diet, and discipline to refrain from the temptations that can derail his career regardless of how much he loves to play.
Another important trait the player must possess is mental toughness. There will be highs and lows, constant bumps, bruises and pain, criticism and adulation. Through it all you must be mentally tough enough to prepare and play with the same competitive spirit. Talent plays a part, but attitude makes the difference in achieving success in professional football.