Luke Rhodes: Practice.
Luke Rhodes is a long snapper for the Indianapolis Colts. He played linebacker at William and Mary College. He started his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he attended his first training camp in 2016. After being cut by the Buccaneers, Rhodes signed with the Colts where he played his rookie season as a linebacker. After his rookie season a position opened up at long snapper, so he worked individually to switch to long snapper. Rhodes is currently a starter and the highest-paid long snapper in the NFL. Rhodes tells Pro Mindset® Podcast host Craig Domann that the most important aspects of his game are training and a passion for improvement.
“My approach every day is just to get 1% better. I do that to increase my capacity so that when I am in these pressure situations, they don't feel like a pressure situation.”
For Rhodes, practicing with his team and going above and beyond by doing extra individual workouts is paramount to building a calm mindset on game day. He uses repetition and extensive preparation so that nothing surprises him. He told veteran NFL agent Craig Domann that it is all about building a comfort zone. The more you expose yourself to the pressure, the more comfortable you feel in it. That is why at practices he works through all situations. He even pours water on the ball sometimes before snapping it to prepare for rainy games. Training is a key aspect of the Pro Mindset because it prepares athletes for game day both physically and mentally. As Rhodes explains it, training helps to expand his capacity for pressure and make his comfort zone larger. Repetition allows him to feel the same snapping a ball to open a game and snapping the ball to win one.
“If you're always trying to get a little bit better, you never fall into a complacent state of mind. I am chasing perfection. I strive to be the best in the league at what I am doing, no matter what position.”
Training is only half the battle. For a practice to be successful, an athlete has to strive for improvement. Rhodes focuses on athleticism, taking on extra workouts during the season and even more in the offseason. He has a great appreciation for training and its benefits. This appreciation comes from his own volition, not a coach or anyone else telling him to train more. Rhodes has the drive and the passion to refine his skills. It is this passion for improvement that allowed him to switch into a new position in the NFL – long snapper, which he had never done it before.
Passion is a large part of building a Pro Mindset. For Rhodes, it is not just a passion for football but for being the best in his position. An athlete can attend every practice and take every rep, but without a drive to be the best they will not be. To be the best, the passion for improvement must come from within an athlete. No one else can push an athlete to succeed besides themselves.
To hear more about Luke Rhodes and how he builds his Pro Mindset in his career listen here.