You Are the Greatest!

We all know the line made famous by boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali: “I am the greatest”. For Ali it wasn’t just a quote, it was a lifestyle and it’s one you have to adopt when you’re playing defensive back.

If you want to have any chance at being the best at playing this position you must transform yourself into the mentality of one of the greatest athletes of all time. Sounds like a really big task doesn’t it? Well not really. There will be times when this line of thinking will be challenged as I suppose it was for Ali but if you say it enough,  believing it becomes easy.

Failure as a defensive back is just a part of the game. It’s almost like a baseball player in the batters box. You know there will be times when you will strike out. However, the thought every time you come to the play is that you will get a hit. This is the same mentality when you line up as a defensive back.

Your biggest weapon when you’re out on the field is your confidence. Your confidence unlocks everything else that you have at your disposal. Being confident allows you to operate your physical skills at their maximum. Being confident sets your football intelligence free allowing you to make the plays you need to make. Allow any ounce of doubt to creep into the equation and everything else starts to falter.

It really doesn’t matter what happened on the play before. What matters now is the play that’s in front of you. So whether you got beat for a touchdown or gave up a 50 yard completion, none of that has anything to do with the play that is happening at the moment. If you want to have success on a more regular basis, each time you lineup in front of a receiver, remember that you are the greatest. If you have to say it to yourself then get to talking. Just so you know,  some of the best athletes and performers of our time talked to themselves either before or during their performances. There is a ton of truth in the saying “you have to speak it into existence.”

So at the end of the day, realize that you will win some and lose some but when it’s all tallied up you’ll win a heck of a lot more than you’ll lose if you can keep your mind in the space of you being the best at what you do. If you’re going to play the game you might as well be the greatest.

Author: Chad Wilson

Chad Wilson is the owner of All Eyes DB Camp and author of "101 DB Tips". He played college football at the University of Miami and briefly in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. Over his 15 year high school football coaching career, he tutored over a dozen Division I defensive backs and as a trainer has worked with NFL All Pros, first round draft picks, college football All Americans and Top 10 ranked high school football prospects.

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