Making “the Mark” in Football Player Evaluations

The Football Educator has discussed the breakdown of football player evaluation through Position Parameters, Critical Factors and Position Specifics.  All three areas play a pivotal role in evaluating a prospect and projecting his future in professional football.  To simplify the process, the following factors are what weigh most heavily in my own willingness to put a personal “stamp of approval” on young talent.

  1. Character – carry themselves in the proper manner (on & off the field) in representing the club, League and professional football players in general.  Understand the importance of their role in doing so.  Show top-level sportsmanship in all scenarios.  Be respectful of opponents, teammates, coaches and staff.
  2. Work ethic – Understand that this is their career and the obligation to do everything possible to prepare both mentally and physically for on field competition.  Put in the extra, even when not asked to.
  3. Talent – Have the mental and physical capacity to improve and excel in the execution of the various techniques required to play the game of professional football.
  4. Intelligence – Be able to understand and absorb the philosophies and game plans of the coaching staff and how it pertains to their own execution of responsibility.  Know what types of questions to ask to clarify concerns.
  5. Football instincts – Have a general feel for the game of football and mental/physical capabilities to react to the dynamics of on field competition.
  6. Leadership – Be willing to take a role in the implementation of core principles at the team level.  Set and maintain self standards of practice and preparation.  Provide a model for younger players to follow and help understand and assimilate the culture of the club.
  7. Integrity – Be a man of your word.  Be someone the team can count on both on and off the field.  Speak your mind, tell the truth.
  8. Teamwork – Put self interests behind that which is good/best for the group.  Team first mentality.
  9. Competitive – Enjoy competition and the nature of the game of football.  Do the little things necessary to prepare throughout the week.  Be mentally/physically at your peak on game day.
  10. Winners – Won’t accept losing.  Acts in a manner reflective of a winner.
  11. Developmental upside – Shows both mental and physical promise to improve in the necessary skill areas to contribute to the team on the field.

It’s hard to imagine any football player at the pro level not having these aspects in their personal makeup.  But look at every instance of difficulty presented to a coach or GM and you’ll find that individual lacking in one or more of these crucial dynamics.

Choose wisely in your selection of “Grade A” talent.

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