One of the most memorable quotes for me was hearing a conversation Jerry Rice was having with a bunch of guys. These guys were complimenting him and telling him that he was the greatest NFL receiver ever. What do you think his response was? “No, I just worked the hardest” is what he said!
That pretty much sums up his greatness and it’s what separates the average, from the good, to the great…period. On that note, I want to give props to Brad DeHaven’s son Blake. Brad is the co-founder of My Football Mentor. I worked with Blake in the off-season last year and he was always the one prodding his father to get out and work-out with me and not the other way around. At the time he was just coming off his freshman season in high school. I can honestly say that I have never worked with a kid his age that has as much focus and drive towards one goal…to be the best football player he can be. He happens to also be a 4.0 student!
During his sophomore season on the JV team Blake scored 14 touchdowns in only nine games, quite a feat! He was pulled up to varsity for the last varsity game. I had the opportunity to watch him play in his team’s opening play-off game and he did exceptionally well! They lost the game that Friday night and Blake’s season was over. What amazed me, however, was that Blake had asked, prior to even that Friday night game, if we could go out on the field and work-out on the Sunday after the game. My response to his father was “what if they lose?” as I was under the impression that Blake wanted to go out on the field on Sunday to help prepare himself for the game the following Friday night. Brad said “that doesn’t matter, he just wants to get some work in whether there is another game or not”.
In twenty years of coaching at every level I’ve never had a player want to work-out the Sunday following, possibly, the last game of the season. Not to mention, we’re talking about a 15 year old here! My guess is that Jerry Rice had that same attitude when he was 15. Blake has already separated himself from the norm and I anticipate great things from him due to his understanding of what it takes to be great! Watch for the name Blake DeHaven in San Diego County high school football over the next couple of years as I see him as an eventual All C.I.F. player, not due to his athletic ability, but due to his will, desire, and understanding of preparation!
Coach Van Tassel
P.S. Below is 3 minute video summary of the workout mentioned above…