Being the backup quarterback is not just about standing on the sidelines, clipboard in hand. It’s an essential position, one that requires mental fortitude, resilience, and leadership. To young high school quarterbacks finding themselves in this role, remember that every moment is an opportunity to grow, learn, and lead, even if you’re not the one starting under the center.
Here’s how you can embrace this role and ensure you’re prepared and poised for success.
1. Develop a Growth Mindset
The mind is a powerful tool. If you perceive the backup role as a limitation, it will be. But, if you view it as an opportunity, doors open. With a growth mindset, you’ll recognize that your current position isn’t a reflection of your worth but a stepping stone towards your goals.
2. Stay Prepared
In football, anything can happen. Whether it’s an injury, a strategic change, or any other unexpected event, a backup quarterback might be thrust into the spotlight at any given moment. Always stay mentally and physically prepared. Study the playbook, pay attention during practices, and keep yourself in top physical shape. Your moment could come at any time, and you need to be ready to seize it.
3. Lead From Where You Are
Leadership isn’t reserved for the starting quarterback. It’s a quality that can be displayed from any position, on or off the field. Be an active voice in team discussions, show support for your teammates, and lead by example. Your attitude and work ethic will earn you the respect of your peers, making it easier for you to step up when the team needs you.
4. Learn from the Starter
Instead of viewing the starting quarterback as competition, see him as a mentor. Analyze his plays, decision-making, and leadership qualities. Learn from his successes and mistakes. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to make impactful plays when your number is called.
5. Value Your Role
While the limelight is often on the starting quarterback, the backup plays a pivotal role. You offer a fresh perspective, can provide feedback on plays, and are an integral part of the team’s strategy. Recognize the value you bring and take pride in your contributions, even if they aren’t always in the public eye.
6. Stay Connected with Your Coaches
Open communication with your coaches is crucial. Seek feedback, ask questions, and ensure you’re aligned with the team’s objectives. Understand your role in the bigger picture and continuously strive to improve.
7. Support the Team
Being supportive is a testament to your character. Cheer for your teammates, offer words of encouragement, and be there for them in challenging times. Being a team player fosters unity and makes the collective stronger.
8. Continue Building Skills
Just because you’re a backup doesn’t mean you should halt your skill development. Work on your throws, read defenses, and hone your footwork. Utilize your time wisely and work on areas of improvement.
Learn to Lead with Patience
Being a backup quarterback might seem challenging, but it’s a golden opportunity wrapped in a cloak of patience. Embrace the role, stay prepared, and remember that leadership can be exhibited from any position. Your time will come, and when it does, thanks to your resilience and dedication, you’ll be more than ready to lead your team to victory.