Repetition is the key to everything. The key to everything is repetition. Okay: I won’t do that any more. But the point is worth making again. The act of duplicating motions until they’re part of one’s nature is especially crucial in this sport, where precise movements are part of every play. Foes do their best to sabotage, so the good guys have to at least memorize step charts.
Reality has rarely gone according to plan for the Buffalo Bills. That’s why training camp’s suddenly thrilling. With a coaching staff that flashed signs of proficiency in its rookie season, the chance to refine execution inspires something other than dread. Less agony’s a lovely feeling.
Let’s pretend we’re lucky that our favorite sport’s participants get months to train. Football enthusiasts look forward to that euphoric period when only six days of the week are without games.
Those treasured competitions will be more stimulating if, say, a revamped pass rushing corps can actually maneuver around their offensive adversaries. An intensive summer school can only help.
Strive to embody our species by not acting like part of it. The best way to challenge human pain limits is by becoming robotic. A game based on emotion relies on overcoming rationality. The first priority is to make plays second nature.
The ability to speed past a mean jerk determined to prevent it from happening won’t set in for awhile. The staff has to maintain faith that the lessons are taking root. Coaches feel like Hank Hill at Grillstravaganza relying on information suddenly clicking.
There’s one player who should be glad the offseason lasts longer than geologic eras, namely the one we’ve been told shouldn’t even try because he’s already a bust. Josh Allen has heard for months that he needs to be more graceful in his choreography. Any quarterback needs to rehearse his steps like Tony Manero until they appear smooth.
A good quarterback has practiced the job so many times that casual observers don’t realize every movement is measured. Such drilling is especially necessary for one who needs to throw off the proper foot. Allen has to step into his job, and only brutal drudgery will make that ostensibly simple task seem natural.
Football players should be getting twitchy. Committing acts to muscle memory beats thinking. It’s easier for soft tissue to recall patterns than it is for brains to remember phone numbers, especially in an era where we type them once instead of dialing them every time we wish to communicate. Intimate familiarity’s importance is seen in knowing which remote button is mute without looking at it in case a Bud Light ad comes on.
As I tell myself while again trying to tie my shoes, raw talent is a curse. Buffalo’s often tried to compensate by having players who aren’t that good. Management now prefers to shrewdly focus on precocious youngsters who at worst have to unlearn bad habits. Picture ladies putting boyfriends in training so they’re not such uncouth brutes. Eating over the sink may be a practical way of minimizing spillage, but the truly dignified gentleman has been trained to manipulate silverware.
Seek joy in the mundane. You may as well, as life is full of doing identical things over again until the end. The only respite is discovering tranquility in watering the lawn or cleaning the pool. Reach a zen state from simple routine, or at least reduce crankiness about passing the same dang landmarks on the work commute. I wish that was a Jimmy John’s and not a Subway, too.
Sure, we have to create drama to make practice seem fun. Football may just get better when angry men with different jerseys are chasing each other. But monotony leads to comfort. Coaches just want to ensure the patterns are confirmed without giving away clues by players wearing them into the turf.
The time will fly by, at least compared to other summers that felt endless for the wrong reasons. It seems like the tent will be pitched for an uncommonly short time this year. Camp’s in session for a mere three weeks including days off, which are only fair to include during summer vacation.
It’s not like there’s much weight to sweat off. Players once had to get in shape after an offseason working in insurance agencies. Rumor holds that salaries are now high enough to ensure football is treated as a full-time job. Anyone working off Doritos weight has established a lack of motivation.
Recurrences are fun! Say it over and over. We must convince ourselves that any day’s practice is enchanting. Look for a little progress each day. It also applies to football. Everyone’s just trying to get better. Honing a plan incessantly now means excitement later. Dreams may not come true. But the best part of waiting is getting to enjoy obliviousness.
Editor’s babble: Not sure where my mind would be at this point if we didn’t have Anthony Bialy’s articles to keep us entertained. Big thanks to Anthony for always being there to keep our ‘Jolly Jar’ full, even during the emptiest of times during the football offseason. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.