"Get Motivated" Conference - Part 1 Joe Montana

I had the opportunity last week to go to the "Get Motivated" conference last week at the First Niagara Center last week. While I wasn't overly motivated by every speaker, there were two that I really took a lot from. The first was Joe Montana.

Preparation is the key to success.

Montana told a number of stories having to do with his preparation for the game. He talked about the importance of a quarterback's discipline in practice and how it carries over to the game. His coach pushed him to make ridiculously accurate passes. He got to the point where if his receiver was number 85, he determined whether the ball should hit the 8 or the 5, based on the defender coming at him. The receiver knew if the ball hit on one side or the other, that the defender would be waiting for him on the opposite side, so turn the other way and run up field. Preparation is the key to success.

 He also told the story about having Jerry Rice on his team as a rookie receiver. After the hype of this new rookie receiver, Montana was surprised and a little annoyed that Rice really didn't have good hands. In the first few days of practice, Jerry Rice dropped a very high number of balls. However, when the first reception finally happened in practice, Rice did something different than most receivers in the NFL. Most receivers are trained in practice to catch the ball and turn up field for 3-5 steps to get the muscle memory for always turning up field after a catch. Jerry Rice however, caught the ball and turned and ran the length of the field at a dead sprint into the end zone. Montana rolled his eyes, and figured this young punk was trying to impress his new coaches, but for his entire career, Jerry Rice ran to the end zone every play in practice.

Work ethic is contagious as well. When he was later a veteran, the entire receiving corps had begun sprinting to the end zone every catch during practice. It's no surprise that Rice holds the all-time touchdown record in NFL history.

Preparation is the Key to success.


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