At Mizzou, training the mind is just as important as training the body. While many programs across the country focus on the physical aspect of football, Mizzou is gaining a mental edge from nationally recognized sports psychologist Rick McGuire. In Thursday’s Mizzou Foundation meeting, the upperclassmen talked about the foundation behind Mizzou’s mental edge: whistle to snap.
Between the whistle at the end of one play and the next snap, you have five seconds. Five seconds to put whatever just happened behind you and get ready for what’s to come.
To optimize that quick turnaround, Mizzou players take a four-step approach that involves “deactivating,” “parking it,” and “reactivating” to mentally prepare themselves for the play ahead.
Those five seconds are the difference between a good play and a bad play.
Whistle to snap is a confidence booster. If something goes wrong, just tell yourself, “I’m a good player. I know my assignment.”
“Just remember ‘I’m out here for a reason,’” defensive back Aarion Penton said. “Just clear your head. Move on to the next play.”
If you buy into it, it will take your game to another level and help you think right. When you think right, you experience optimal arousal: the perfect level of energy and the perfect mindset.
And when you experience optimal arousal, you make plays.
“It helped me telling myself I would make plays,” defensive lineman Markus Golden said. “I remember telling Darvin (Ruise) he was going to force a fumble. Next play, he forced a fumble.”
But whistle to snap isn’t an easy concept to master. Just like anything, it takes practice, but that practice pays off in the long run.
“You have to put it into practice as a freshman even if you might not use it for awhile,” linebacker Darvin Ruise said.
“The younger you are and the more you buy into it the more it will help you,” tailback Marcus Murphy said. “Grasp this and buy into it right now!”
Be in the moment. Move on, focus, prepare. Every play. Whistle to snap.