At SPARTA, we’re experts when it comes to making athletes physically better and more resistant to injury. But we are also smart enough to admit when there is someone who knows more than us. When you’re talking about quarterback skills, there is no one who knows more than SPARTA partner Tom Martinez. Tom is the quarterback skills coach of Tom Brady, and most recently JaMarcus Russell, the no. 1 overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft, to the Oakland Raiders. We asked Tom to give us some insight into what makes the Pros he works with so good, and what young quarterbacks can learn to make them better.
1. What does Tom Brady do well that makes him so good?
Tom is a tremendous competitor who has mastered the fundamentals of the quarterback position. He has a complete understanding of the New England Patriots offense, and the opponent’s defense. And, at this point of success and accomplishment in his career, he hasn’t lost the desire to improve; he is still working on getting better and mastering technique.
2. What do pro QB's do that makes them better than college and high school QB’s?
For one, they are more experienced, which only comes with time. Secondly, they are more physically developed. Physical strength and development allows a QB to be more consistent, able to replicate correct mechanics during game situations.
3. What does every high school quarterback need to get better at?
Almost all of them need to work on their footwork, throwing motion and balance. Those three things, along with the ability to make quick decisions in game situations are very important.
4. What is the one physical element high school QB's should focus on?
Footwork is most often neglected and it is the basis for everything a quarterback does. High school quarterbacks should remember that most quarterbacks do not reach maximum maturity until their late twenties. It is a long journey to excellence and it requires hard work, dedication and commitment. Many never get to play long enough to even reach their full potential. That's why young quarterbacks who want to excel should attend camps and work with a specialized coach.
Expanding on what Tom has said, improving footwork is a key for all young quarterbacks. From a performance standpoint, having “quick feet” is all about how much force an athlete can put down into the ground. At SPARTA, we use plyometrics to teach athletes forceful ground contacts. When training on your own, focus on getting better at sprinting to improve your ground contacts.