It Wasn’t Supposed to be This Difficult

IMG_0550Headed to college…..

Everything is different now. People are looking at you like you are odd. You are at a whole new place in your life. Family is calling you. Old friends have wished you well. Everything is changing.

You knew it was coming and you worked for countless years to get to this point. You definitely had not done it all on your own. The list of people that have assisted you in getting to this point is gigantic and seems to keep growing.
 
You are amazed with yourself that you actually did it. You planned and planned and planned for this moment, yet, you still are overwhelmed that it finally came to fruition.

You don’t think you will be able to get through it. There’s no way you can. You continuously remind yourself that you are not the first person to do this, and definitely will not be the last.

The days get longer and longer. You look at old photos on your phone. You text. You call. You sob. You check Facebook. Sometimes you cry when people are looking and, a lot of times, when they aren’t. You never thought it would be this rough. This IS what YOU wanted, right?
 
You have spoken to others that have gone through what you are struggling with. You insist there’s no way they could have had it this rough. Times are different. Things are different. This is what you wanted, right? This is for the best, right? This is the next step in life, isn’t it?
 
Yes.

Yes it is. This is the plan. This is the way it needs to be. This is what has to happen in life in order to advance.

Who would have thought being a parent and having your child go to college would be so tough:)

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Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years,  Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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Where Are They Now? Rubio Long Snapper Tyler Schmitt

For the next installment of “Where Are They Now?” we venture to the back of a camera lens to hear from Rubio Long Snapper Tyler Schmitt. Tyler was a tremendous athlete in high school, dominated at SDSU and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 6th Round (Go Hawks!)

Check out what has been going on with Rubio Long Snapper Tyler Schmitt….

1.  What is your current occupation?  11142232_711004645674731_59132459_n

Professional Landscape Photographer 

2. Where do you live?

La Jolla , CA half of the year, exploring the globe the other half. 

3. Married/ Kids? Single. No kids

4. What is your fondest memory of your time playing college football? 

My fondest memory of playing football is running out of the tunnel at The Big House (Michigan) in front of 110,000 people as a 18 year old freshman. I’ve never been more terrified/excited to play in a game. 

5. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snappers, what would it be?

Train with the linebackers, lift with the lineman, run with the defensive backs. Don’t train like a specialist, you will not grow to your full potential. Be an athlete! Practice mind control, tell yourself you are the best long snapper in the world and that is what you will become. 

6. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snapping PARENTS, what would it be? 

Support your son’s dreams, whatever they may be. They have been put in his heart for a reason. If that means being a long snapper then great, if that means taking a break from football to pursue another deep rooted dream then so be it. I see a lot of parents these days forcing their own childhood dreams on their kids, this works in the opposite way as they would like it too. Thank you in advance for supporting your sons desire to be the best long snapper he can be. 

7. When was the last time you snapped a ball and for what reason? Schmitt_Tyler

A few months ago giving a private lesson. Partially to show the young gentleman an example of what I was talking about, but mostly to make sure I still had it in me. 😉 

 8.   If you could go back and play football in college again, would you go to the same school or a different one? Why? 

I wouldn’t change my college experience for the world. Being a long snapper at San Diego State is truly one of the best jobs on planet earth. We have quite a nice streak of Rubio long snappers continuing on to the NFL, and we plan on extending it next year. 

 9. Any regrets during college? Something you wish you had done or maybe hadn’t?

I have no regrets during my college football career. I do wish however I would have taken care of my body and mind better. Clean eating is such an important role in maintaining a healthy career. I learned this late in my career during my short time in the NFL. Athletes spend years tearing down their body with weightlifting and practice, but rarely learn how to build back up their body (through massage, stretching, yoga, meditation) until they learn from NFL veterans. 

10.   What tremendous thing have you been a part of or experienced since you graduated? 

Since I graduated college I have had the opportunity to be drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.  More importantly I am now pursuing a dream of sharing my photography with the world. You can check out my work at Instagram – @tyschmitt or www.tyschmitt.com (VERY WORTH CHECKING OUT!)

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Survival Guide for Rubio Long Snapping Parents

A couple weeks ago, a Rubio Long Snapping mom named Ashely Culbertson asked if she could put together a survival guide for the parents. She stated that there is a ton that goes into being a parent at the camp and lots of stuff to be said. Given, I said “Let it rain!” and she did.

TREMENDOUS job by Ashely and definitely something to sit down and soak in.

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Survival Guide for Rubio Long Snapper/Chris Sailer Kicking Parents: 

Quick Reference for the BIG Questions to the Little Questions Most Parent/Guardians of LS and K/P have.

I’m just a mom. It sounds funny to say that out loud, as any parent knows being a parent is not for the faint of heart, so using the phrase “just a mom” is a HUGE understatement. Equally understated is to use the phrase “just the long snapper/kicker/punter.” So, go ahead and move past the “just” and recognize the vitally important role your son (or possibly daughter, but for the sake of time and space I’ll refer to the student athlete in the male form) plays on his team. Special teams, and specifically the long snapper and kicker/punter have, can, and will make or break a football game. I encourage you to go to www.chrissailerkicking.com and read more in depth blogs on this subject via the link to Rubio’s blog and Sailer’s blog. Another quick and extremely relevant example would be the 2014 college football season during which both regular season and bowl games had outcomes determined by the performance of special teams in the last few seconds. Now, moving forward, I’m just a mom and my kid’s just a long snapper, and the past year and a half has been one of the most exciting journeys…EVER…so buckle up buttercup, here we go!

Your First Rubio/Sailer Camp-

     1. This is typically the one day camp that is held closest to you. You probably googled long snapping or kicking instruction/technique, or heard of Rubio and/or Sailer by word of mouth, and now you’re all signed up for your first Rubio/Sailer Camp for your son. **Prepare to be blown away.** We were. My son had just finished his freshman season, having been pulled to the varsity team and become the starting long snapper for his high school football team. His high school is known for its football program in our state, and my son became a really big fish in a small pond literally overnight. He loved it. We, his parents, thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to long snapping. Once we got to that first camp, the “pond” suddenly got much, much bigger. That’s not to say my son wasn’t good, what I mean is we saw very quickly that if he wanted to get serious about football and college, there was work to be done.

          -This may or may not be your experience and that’s okay. Every situation is unique, and it’s important to take the suggestions that help.

          -You are going to be given A LOT of information. Relax! (You’ll find this to be a recurring theme throughout this experience.) Give it time and it will sink in. Also, Sailer and Rubio are two of the most open and receptive individuals/professionals when it comes to questions. A quick tip, though- after this first camp, when a question comes up, go to the website first. If you still can’t find an answer you are looking for, ask! 

     2. What do I need to take for camp?

Sounds a bit silly, but until you’ve been there, done that, (and now can even get the t-shirt), there are things I definitely would recommend having on hand that I never thought of in the beginning.

          -Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You will be very involved in this experience and while I love my cute sandals and sundresses as much as the next mom (comfortable clothing applies to dads as well; choose clothes you’d wear when at home working with your son), this isn’t a beauty pageant. Get out your socks and tennis/running/athletic shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt and be ready to work and learn with your son.

          -Bring a chair, you’ll need to be in close proximity to the instruction. Usually that means on the sidelines until Sailer or Rubio call parents to the field. Standing all day or sitting on the grass/turf isn’t ideal.

          -If possible, bring a cooler with water. Water is ALWAYS provided, but if you’re at a camp in the heat of summer, a small cooler (even the soft, foldable ones) that can carry water bottles with ice/cold packs definitely comes in handy. Your athlete should be hydrating daily. The reality is, so should parents. If you or your athlete waits to take in water until thirsty, you’re doing it wrong. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! If the camp isn’t close enough to drive to and you are flying, Google the nearest Dollar Store, Dollar General, WalMart, Target, etc. It’s worth the extra ten dollars to have cold water on hand. 

          -Sunscreen. You and your athlete will be outside (weather permitting) for the better part of eight hours. Even if the camp you and your athlete are attending is during one of the cooler months, you may need sunscreen. If it’s a summer camp and you enjoy having a nose, it’s a must.

          -You are going to have about an hour for lunch. Be prepared. Google restaurants close by that you can get in and out of quickly. Another option is bring lunch with you- think tailgating. This can be a good idea for several reasons: you don’t have to rush, your athlete has more time to relax and regroup, and you will likely have the opportunity to get to know others at the camp. It’s important to realize this group of young men will see each other again, and they are building friendships on the field, so build friendships with the parents around you. Be smart, though. If it’s 100* outside, go somewhere out of the heat for this break. Otherwise, I’m confident EMS will gladly take you somewhere cooler- just saying.

          -Bring your camera/phone. Rubio and Sailer are used to taking pictures with athletes at their camps at the end. Even if your kid isn’t big on pictures, DO IT. You’ll look back at some point and realize how far your kid has come, and you’ll be glad you did.

     3. Why does Rubio/Sailer know other kids’ names/parents/families? Will they remember my son? Are they even watching them?

          -Don’t flip out!! Some of the athletes and their families have been working with Rubio/Sailer for years. Just because they know some of the athletes immediately doesn’t mean they aren’t watching your kid. In fact, you just might hear them called by a nickname that will stick (ex. BaconHead, Oregon, MadDawg). Your son may get a “big daddy” thrown his way. This happens because they ARE noticing your kid, and while in that moment they may not use your athlete’s full name, they use these kinds of nicknames because that’s one of the ways they remember the athletes. You may also notice that your athlete is being photographed and videoed…a lot. Relax, Rubio and Sailer are noticing your son from the moment you walk up to the registration table until the moment you leave that afternoon (likely dragging, tired, a little overwhelmed by all the information you’ve been given, and definitely excited and motivated for the future).

           -Remember the big fish/small pond example? This is when you’ll probably realize that while your kid is talented, so are many other kids. Again, relax. At the end of the day, your son has just learned from the best, trained with the best, and been evaluated by the best. Once rankings/evaluations are posted, your athlete is going to have his strengths highlighted while also given constructive criticism. This part of the process ideally will encourage, motivate, and drive your son to put what he has learned to good use if he hasn’t already. Rubio has an excellent blog that explains how his rankings are done, so, again, go to the website, click on Rubio’s blog and search for how his rankings/evaluations are done. It’s fair, honest, and really quite easy to understand.

          -Be patient. Believe me when I say I understand, patience is not one of my virtues. However, Rubio and Sailer will tell the athletes and parents a date their rankings will come out. If you aren’t already, you and your athlete should follow, friend, like, etc. Sailer and Rubio on all social media sources. They will let everyone know via their blogs and social media that the rankings are up. 

     -Get familiar with social media- like yesterday. You will hear it, read it, and maybe wake up repeating it: Be sure your athlete is being appropriate when using social media. Colleges are watching and noting EVERYTHING your athlete is doing if they are a potential recruit. Think of it like Santa Claus (you better watch out…he knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake)- he’s everywhere! Does your kid want to play ball or lose a spot on a team over a retweet? If you don’t know what a retweet is, figure it out right now. 

How often should my son attend a Rubio/Sailer camp? Isn’t once enough? What about Vegas?

     1. I am a parent that looks for a really good reason to do something, I evaluate its worth as well as the sacrifice needed to obtain a goal. My son that I’ve referenced here has three siblings, so a great deal of thought has to go into these decisions. The following are my thoughts as a parent on this subject:

          -When preparing to have our son, my husband and I put a great deal of time and effort into being sure he would have the things he needed to thrive. While my husband (as a new dad) was awesome at helping, and he could change a diaper, the first few weeks of diaper changes were pretty comical. Sure, our son had a diaper on, but with practice he had a diaper on that didn’t fall off when we picked him up. Another example would be when our son got his learner’s permit to drive. He was very diligent about safety, and could get us from point A to B. But with practice, he stopped using the brake like an on/off switch. The point is, your athlete will learn great things at one camp, but if his desire is to be the best he can be or to play football at the next level, giving him more opportunities to fine tune his skills is imperative. Yes, attend more than one camp. 

          -While things like form, speed, accuracy, and consistency are themes that remain unchanged at each camp, I can say with certainty that my son has learned something new each time he’s attended a Rubio/Sailer camp. That could mean learning a new drill all the way to walking up to register by himself and displaying the confidence he is building in himself. The best analogy I can think of for this part of the process is much like when one learns to drive a car with a manual transmission. There’s that really fine, smooth moment you let off the clutch and press the gas pedal. In the beginning, most of us had those “herky, jerky” moments and had to restart, or have heard a parent yell “you’re grinding the gears.” If you only attend one camp, it’s probable that you and your athlete will approach most of the day together. If you attend a second camp, and you nudge your son to handle things himself, depending on the kid, it’s going to be somewhat “herky, jerky.” The more opportunities to practice and fine tune skills on and off the field, the smoother the transition will be for your son to become a confident and independent individual in a very positive way.

     2. Vegas. If I could go back in time, I would have gotten my son to this event sooner. It’s honestly not something one can explain, it’s the experience itself. You will hear Sailer and Rubio say go more than once. ABSOLUTELY! The first time you and your son attend this event, it’s like the first day of high school as a freshman. Most of the time is spent figuring everything out (unless your son is a seasoned world traveler that never gets jet lag and is intimidated by nothing). If you’ve ever seen the movie “Hoosiers” (your son probably has not, but hopefully you saw it back in the day), there is a scene where the team makes it to the BIG championship game. They all walk in the arena looking like a bunch of deer in headlights. The coach has them measure the court, and so on. This is much like that first trip to Vegas. Your son will realize the distance to the target hasn’t changed, Sailer and Rubio haven’t changed, and get more comfortable with what comes along with traveling, navigating this mega event, etc. 

Is it (the camps) really worth it?

     1. The easy, quick answer: YES!

     2. The training experience offered by Chris Sailer and Chris Rubio truly is worth it, and here is why:

          -If we are talking dollars and cents, as well as probability and statistics, then it’s a no-brainer. Add up what you would spend on the camps your son attends in a given year (everything- travel, food, hotel, camp, etc.). Nope, it’s not cheap. Now add up the cost of a four year education (and even pick a school with a lesser tuition, but add in staying on campus, a meal plan, transportation of some sort, etc.). You likely have just seen in black and white how beneficial this can be.

          -Do some research. Look at the options out there. It will quickly become clear NO OTHER CAMP offers the same degree of exposure, education, and instruction, AND educates/involves the parent/guardian (maximizing your athlete’s potential by giving him the tools to work hard and smart after camp is over). This is the real deal. 

          -What your son will take away from the Sailer/Rubio camp experience is priceless on several levels. First, this is my son’s goal, his dream- not mine, not my husband’s- his. If this is your athlete’s passion, you will see great things; if it’s your dream and not your kid’s you’re doing it wrong- stop. Second, this is an awesome opportunity for your son to learn responsibility, confidence, and independence BEFORE he steps out into this big ole world on his own. If my son chose to never pick up a football again, what he has learned and gained is more than we could teach him on our own as parents, and that alone makes every bit worth it. Finally, the day I stood back with my husband and watched our son walk up to a college’s special teams coordinator, shake his hand, look him in the eye and have a conversation with him on his own, I knew we were on the right track.

I cannot stress enough how essential the website (www.chrissailerkicking.com) is. Hopefully you’ve gained some insight and can relax and enjoy this awesome time with your athlete. It’s been one of the best decisions we have ever made.

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Where Are They Now? Rubio Long Snapper Jeff Palmer

For the next installment of “Where Are They Now?” we head to Southern California to hear from Rubio Long Snapper Jeff Palmer. Palmer played his high school football in Orange County then made his way to the Oregon Ducks where he still holds the record for most field goal snaps in a career. Oh, did I mention he is about 5’10” and 190 (dripping wet and holding barbells)

Check out what has been going on with Rubio Long Snapper Jeff Palmer…

1.  What is your current occupation?

I have been an Account Executive for MetLife for a little over two years, selling employee benefits through brokers to companies with 10 to 5,000 employees.

2. Where do you live?

I am in the process of moving from San Francisco to San Diego, currently living in Dana Point, CA.

3. Married/ Kids? Single. No kids

4. What is your fondest memory of your time playing college football? Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 4.48.33 PM

My fondest memory of my entire time at Oregon was running on the field the second the clock hit 0 at the 2012 Rose Bowl. We had lost our two previous bowl games, and the guys that were still on the team for the Rose Bowl had a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders when we won that game. It was the culmination of a pretty special season for us.

5. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snappers, what would it be?

Obviously work hard on the football side of things, but work even harder on the academic side and get involved with any networking opportunities that your school offers you. You never know what types of opportunities may come your way after your playing career is over, and the vast majority of guys will be done playing for good when your college eligibility is up.

6. If you could give ONE bit of advice to the current Rubio Long Snapping PARENTS, what would it be? 

Always be positive. Your son is getting the opportunity to do what millions of kids only dream of doing- running on to the field on Saturdays for a college football game. You can’t take everything so seriously. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so just sit back and enjoy watching your son have fun and grow up.

7. When was the last time you snapped a ball and for what reason?

I snap at least one ball a day down the hallway in my apartment just so I can tell myself- “still got it.” A lot of my brokers and coworkers ask me to snap a ball to them once they find out I played football as well.

 8.   If you could go back and play football in college again, would you go to the same school or a different one? Why? 

No doubt in my mind I would go to Oregon again. Everyone hears about Nike, the uniforms, the facilities, and the flashy offense, but what a lot of people don’t know is how well the Athletic Department sets its student-athletes up for success after their time runs out. There were countless networking and mentoring events to attend during our time there, which allowed me to develop relationships with people I otherwise would have never had the chance to meet.

 9. Any regrets during college? Something you wish you had done or maybe hadn’t?

I actually wish I did not try to graduate as quickly as I did. I should have stayed in Eugene as long as possible because yes, being out in the real world is fun, but it comes with a lot more responsibility than you realize when you are still in school. 

I wish I didn’t have a girlfriend my senior year…what an idiot.

10.   What tremendous thing have you been a part of or experienced since you graduated? 3a549d2

I got to spend some time in Colorado working for Wounded Warriors right after I graduated. We spent time at Air Force Academy as well as the Olympic Training Facilities, but it was so rewarding helping the veterans and hearing their stories and about the daily struggles since returning home. It really put things into perspective for me.

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Consider Which Parent to Take With You On Trips

Yup, you read that correctly. An athlete should be very careful when going on an official (school pays for the trip and you only get five of them) or an unofficial (athlete/parents pay for the trip and you can take as many as you’d like) visit when deciding who goes with them.

Let me break it down for you….

If you are going to a school as a football recruit and aren’t exactly ideal size, you might want to leave your 5 foot tall mother at home. The mom’s height will spook the coach since they will think “Oh man, this kid is done growing.

On the other hand, if you are undersized and your dad is a giant, definitely bring him since the coach would think “Ok, kid doesn’t pass the eyeball test right now, but he has the same genes so he will get there in some time

Remember, coaches will already know what you can do through my rankings and by speaking with me. But, they will like to see how you pass the eyeball test, so don’t give them negatives to think about when recruiting you.

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Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years,  Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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Sad, But True

There once was a Long Snapper that went to visit his favorite college in the fall. He took his father. His father spoke too much. Rubio told the father to stop talking to the coaches as they would want to talk to the son and not the father. Rubio told the the father it was like when he was dating his wife. Did he want to hang out and speak with her or her parents? He said he got it.

The Long Snapper got a tour of the weight room and the locker room from the coaches. The father kept talking.

The Long Snapper was asked questions by the coaches, the father answered.

The coaches offered the Long Snapper a preferred walk-on spot. The kid was ecstatic. The father reached out, shook the coaches hand and said we will take it. The kid didn’t speak.

The father called Rubio after this and said “they” had committed to their dream school as a preferred walk-on! Rubio congratulated them and hung up.

Two minutes later, Rubio’s phone rang, he answered it. It was the head coach of the college that had just offered the Long Snapper a preferred walk-on spot. The coach asked Rubio what he knew about the dad he had just encountered. Rubio told him all he knew. The coach replied with “love the kid and his ability to snap but we are going to pull the offer because we can’t stand the dad and don’t want to have to deal with him for four years.”

The offer was pulled. The Long Snapper did not go to a four year university.

THE END

p.s. Yes, this is a true story.

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Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years,  Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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The Parent of a Long Snapper

At first, you were confused. You definitely were no expert on football but you did know the basics. And, within those basics, you knew that no one actually wanted to be a long snapper. So, when your 8th grade son came up to you and said he might want to go to a long snapping camp, you were baffled. You were going to be the parent of a long snapper?

You remember the moment like it was yesterday. Your son, who was always a decent athlete, guided you through the website (yes, an actually site devoted to long snapping) as though he had studied it for hours. He knew all the Ins and Outs of the site, he was trying to “hook” you into registering him. You appeased your sons zeal. You still weren’t sure on the whole process until Bruce came over. Bruce was your son’s best friend. They had been friends ever since they had the same kindergarten teacher. Your son was the good athlete who was very intelligent while Bruce was a very good soccer player that had more looks than common sense. Wits aside, Bruce was a great kid that always landed on his feet (and used them). Anyway, he came over (during the long snapping propaganda ceremony that your son was putting on) and chimed in.

Bruce was actually going to the same camp but as a kicker. Your son and Bruce were both headed off to high school and already had planned how to stay united. Since the local high school’s soccer team was, to put it nicely, sub par, Bruce decided to forgo soccer and just become a kicker for the football team. Bruce would be the kicker and your son would the snapper. It was perfect. They were inseparable off the field and now would be the same on the field as well. You were going to be a parent of a long snapper?

You caved after hours of persistence from your son and Bruce (actually like ten minutes). You sent your soon to be high schooler off with Bruce to the camp. Bruce went to his side of the field, your son went to his. Bruce learned how to kick, your son learned how to snap. You were becoming a parent of a long snapper?

This went on for years. Camp after camp. To say the process was smooth is not accurate. The first year, the coach couldn’t care less about your son and his “position” on the team. For Bruce, it was not much better. Freshman teams aren’t really a juggernaut on offense so there was little opportunities for the two boys to shine. That, and the fact that your boy was, average at best with his snapping, made life a bit tough during snapping season (which is year round).

Sophomore year was big for the boys…well, a boy. Bruce really grew with his kicking and physically. Puberty high-fived him and guided him into the weight room where he put on about twenty pounds of muscle that he used simply for kicking. He was becoming a monster on campus and on the field. Even though, he was “only” a kicker, he was still regarded as “that guy” on the team. Bruce, only a sophomore, was already starting to dominate the kicking camps. Life was good, no great, for him.

For your son, things were more challenging. Puberty eluded him at first. A tad thin, gawky even, your boy simply couldn’t put on weight. Muscle was not even close to hitting his frame. You would have been happy with even some fat. Nothing would stick to his bones. Frustrating was an understatement. The one thing kept your son going: his snapping. He kept at the camps, he worked on his form, he loved the camaraderie. He was part of a group…almost a gang. You met parents. You didn’t mind the camps. It was becoming fun for you as well. You were becoming a parent of a long snapper?

Junior year flew by and so did the notion of your son being thin. He filled out very well and looked like an athlete. Camps became more frequent and social media allowed you to stay connected to other parents of long snappers. You even became very good friends with Bruce’s parents. It was hard not to since the boys were always together and you had a common denominator to discuss. Bruce’s recruiting took off, he flourished at the kicking camps and was even offered a couple scholarships to major universities. All the while, your son snapped the ball to “the star.” Bruce was the stud kicker and your son was “the kid who snapped it to Bruce.”

As popular as Bruce became at school, on the recruiting sites and on blogs, he never forgot your son and how “his” key plays during the game, start. Bruce knew were the play started. Your son and Bruce practiced non-stop throughout the year. Your son snapped the footballs, a random would hold and Bruce would kick it long and far. Day in and day out, week in and week out, camp after camp, Bruce and your son were a team. You were the parent of a long snapper.

Senior year comes along and wouldn’t you know it, your son’s football team was doing well, very well. Games were like parties, everyone knew about Bruce and you were part of the whitewash. The crowd cheered for every kick like it was a game winner. No matter if it was a P.A.T. or a 50 harder, the other parents roared congratulations to Bruce’s parents after each and every time Bruce was on the field. You sat right next to them and congratulated them just as everyone else did. And, after every kick, which, of course meant a great snap from your son, Bruce’s parents, almost in unison, would look your way and simply mouth the words “thank you.” They never said it out loud but you knew they meant it from the bottom of the hearts. They knew their son’s success was directly correlated to all the time Bruce and your son spent together at camps, on the field and watching games on TV. There was no kick made without a snap. You were the parent of a long snapper.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the team made the championship game. Everyone was excited, BEYOND excited. The kids, school, the town were overflowing with excitement. Everyone wanted to see a perfect game. Unfortunately, Mother Nature couldn’t care less. The early December game meant chance for rain and that seemed to be simply what would happen on that Saturday night.

Your son and Bruce took some extra practice that week. You and Bruce’s father went with them. You both created as many wild scenarios as possible. Nothing would surprise them. By Wednesday, when the weather report made it clear that rain would be a legit possibility, you even brought a gallon of water to saturate the footballs so your son could simulate a wet snap. Your son was not a fan of this drill and never really could manage to create his perfect snap. You were definitely the parent of a Long Snapper.

Game night and the weather was cooperating, thus far. It was cold, very cold, but no rain at all. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth is how the score went all game long. The teams were very evenly matched. You were a quiet fan but even found yourself cheering out loud at several points in the game.

The game came down to the final five minutes and wouldn’t you know it, the sky decided to open up and cleanse the players. When the first drop hit your jacket, your heart sunk fifty miles and you couldn’t breathe. On cue, your son looked up at you and you could see him swallow and look at you with his big, brown eyes. His look seemed to say “Not this, anything but this. Please dad, make the rain stop.” Your eyes welled up, emotions grabbed you, there was nothing you could do expect yell to him, “You got this!” You are the parent of a Long Snapper.

The rain came down in buckets. It seemed to increase by the minute. The game become sloppy. No one had any footing, no one could run, no one could throw, it was becoming ugly. Somehow, the football gods blessed your son’s team and allowed them a big run off the right tackle. The running back burst off the end and was gone for a 60 yard pickup. He eventually was brought down on the opposing teams ten yard line. Everyone was so excited, they barely realized the clock was almost out. There were three-seconds left. There was time for one play from the ten yard line.

The coach was not an ignorant man. He motioned for Bruce. You saw it, Bruce’s parents saw it. You looked at each other. Emotions overflowing. You all nodded at the same time with the look of “here we go.” Your boy looked at you, you heart was pounding, The rain was pouring and that only added to the wetness coming from your eyes. You tried to remain strong for your son’s sake. It was almost too much.

All the years of training, all the hours, all the camps, should make this moment easy for your son and Bruce. Your son set up on the ball, the overly saturated ball, he wiggled his fingers. Youknew his routine, You were the parent of a Long Snapper.

The snap came out quickly, it was not a tight spiral. You gulped. Your worst nightmare. Time stopped. The ball rotated. The ball flew over the holder’s outstretched arms. You almost vomited. You felt a thousand eyes look at you. You tried to stay focused on your son. You didn’t look anyone in the eyes. You felt as though were spiraling into an abyss. Your son just had a bad snap.

Trying to avoid every fan’s eyes, you finally caught a glimpse of your son and ou noticed a yellow flag on the field. You hoped, you prayed, for it to be on the other team. It was! It turns out the nose guard illegally hit your son just before the snap and that is what caused the wayward snap. You looked around and noticed no one was looking at you now. Bruce’s parents patted you on the back. You got closer to them. You and them, just like Bruce and your son, were a team.

The game winning kick cleared the field goal posts easily. Your son’s snap was perfect. It was just like the countless other snaps you had seen him execute at camps, in the garage, on the front drive way, in the backyard, on the field, in street and on the field. You are the parent of a Long Snapper.

The crowd swarmed Bruce’s parents in the crowd and as they made their way onto the field. It was mass of humanity and it converged on the hero of the game, Bruce. Hundreds of people chanted his name, they lifted him up, he won the game. He made the game winning kick. He won the championship. He did it all.

You avoided the masses and went to the spot on the field where your son snapped the ball. He was there, waiting for you. You hugged him as hard as anyone as ever held someone they loved and were proud of. As you opened your eyes filled with tears, you caught Bruce’s parents looking at you. They were just twenty yards away but it might as well have been twenty miles. You were with your son, the Long Snapper, isolated from everyone and they were with their son, the kicker, the hero of the game, being mobbed by hundreds. Twenty yards away, your eyes met and you clearly saw Bruce’s parent’s, who clearly understood the process, mouth the words to you, “Thank you!”

You ARE the parent of the Long Snapper.

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Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years,  Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS tomajor colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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Athletes and Dating

High School can be an amazing time for an athlete. They can experience the challenges of some difficult classes, bonding with teammates that will become great friends, playing under the “Friday night lights” and, finally, dating, and possibly, locking into a steady significant other.

Depending on your point of view, the last three words of the above paragraph can either put an enormous smile on your face or make you want to cringe and kick a butterfly. The whole “my son, who is a tremendous athlete, just got a girlfriend and……..” is as old as athletics itself. The issue is how to deal with it.

Now, there are two ways to look at this and I have spoken to coaches about it as well….

  1. One side can be excited for an athlete that locks into a significant other as it can control and tame them a bit. If you have a significant other, you are less likely to be hitting the streets raging with your friends and get into mischief that way. An athlete that is tied down tends to be a bit more subdued on the weekend and, therefore, can get into less trouble.
  2. The other side is not a fan of an athlete having a significant other as it usually means more drama. And, with more drama, comes more mental anguish. The last thing a coach wants is their prized recruit wondering what he did wrong and how he can fix it with his date. The coach wants you focused. And, to clarify, that means focus on school and football.
So, the issue for the athlete is whether or not to get a significant other?  Let’s be honest, it is going to happen. Athletes tend to not have too big of an issue obtaining dates. Not sure if it is the confidence, the dashing good looks, the potential for a ground breaking hug or the ability to be a party trick, but Long Snappers always seem to be with a date(s). Part of the job if you will. Therefore, it’s going to happen.

Then, the issue for the parents of said athletes is whether to let it (flock of dates/locking down to a significant other) happen or “attempt” to put the brakes on it with their parental powers.

 
I say let them experience life and do what they are going to do. Let them have fun. Let them see what the bad ones are like so they know how to hold on to the good ones. They may even be that one in a million case that ends up with their high school sweetheart. Bless their heart if they are and more power to them. Plus, if you (the parental figure) try to halt it, they will push back harder. Remember, you jumped from birth to parenting without going through the high school years so you don’t know what they are going through at this stage in their lives.
 
I may sound cold-hearted but it is reality and I have seen it countless times with my Long Snappers throughout the years so I am tad biased. Too many times I have seen this happen…
  • a phenomenal athlete locks into a significant other
  • said athlete “knows” it is the real thing
  • said athlete becomes obsessed with their partner
  • they end up letting it consume too much time in their lives
  • they become distracted from their studies, their sport and lose focus
  • they get passed up on the depth chart and continually make excuses as to why they aren’t playing more or at all. 
  • they graduate (sometimes they don’t)  and, for the rest of their lives, wonder what if?

Bottom line, you (the athlete) are young and you should go out and have some fun. Date, enjoy life, lock in if you feel the need BUT remember that unless that significant other is paying your way through college, you might have to cut the strings and live your own life a lot sooner than later.
_________________________________________________________________

Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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An Unfair-y Tale

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a person named Frank. Frank was just like any other person his age, he spent a great deal of time day-dreaming. Thoughts would pierce Frank’s mind like a knife and he would be forced to wrestle them into either the real world or let them float on by.
 
One day, a particular vision came into Frank’s head about being someone and doing something very few people in the world could do. Frank thought about being a top athlete and knew it was the thing for him. Frank told his good buddy, Dan, and they both proceeded to devour any bit of information they could about the subject and decided it really wasn’t that hard. They both could definitely do it and would go full speed into the process. They had the means and the desire. Nothing would stop them in fulfilling their dream to be a great athlete.
 
They started with a lesson. They both enjoyed the time with the instructor. The instructor was personable, made everyone feel welcome and definitely made sure everyone acquired some knowledge about the sport. Unfortunately, Dan was not so into it as Frank was, but that did not stop Frank and the lessons continued for both. Frank had a goal and they would achieve it.
 
Day after day, month after month, year after year, Frank would summon Dan to do the drills. To focus with him. To read with him. To stretch with him. To eat with him. To watch videos with him. To go to camps and combines with him. Dan did exactly what Frank wanted, if for any reason, to keep the relationship alive. After awhile, Frank could feel that Dan was drifting away from their dream and decided to look the other way and pretend it simply was not true. Hear no evil, see no evil was Franks’s motto. If they were this close, there is no way they could stop!
 
Camp after camp, Dan became less and less interested and it became more and more like work instead of fun. Dan even contemplated telling Frank he was burnt out and done, but did not want to hurt Frank’s feelings and/or lose the relationship. You see, at one point, they were actually the best of friends. But now, they were almost enemies. Frank didn’t even notice since he was so focused on the goal of being a top tier athlete.
 
Finally, after several years of lessons, camps, combines, events, films, trainers, stretching, eating, working out and countless hours of drills, Dan had had enough. Dan was not feeling well mentally or physically and was done. Done. He wanted no more. It was not fun anymore. It was not even tolerable. It was treacherous and was something that became dreaded. This thing that was once exciting and new, was now bland and exhausting. It was becoming obvious to all around, especially the instructor, that Dan simply was not into it anymore.
 
Something needed to be said and it needed to be said now. After one particular camp, the instructor pulled Dan to the side and asked Dan if he would like him to say something to Frank. Dan looked down, paused for quite some time, rose up with tears in his eyes and said, “No, that’s ok. I will speak to him. He’s my dad.”
 
 

Please note: this is a fictional story that I have made up. However, it could be very true and I don’t want to ever see it happen. This is why I always keep my lessons, camps and events fun and loose yet still extremely productive. I am firm believer in a happy athlete will be a good, if not great, athlete. Like I have stated before, one must wonder if my top kids are smiling because they are the best or are they the best because they are smiling?

Parents, please make sure your kids are happy with their athletic endeavors. Yes, you must push them and keep on them, but you must also support them and make sure they are following their own dreams and not yours.

_________________________________________________________________

Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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An Open Letter to Parents

Been thinking about doing this one for awhile and just needed the right time of the year. Well, that time is upon us and here you go. This blog is going to be an open letter to parents of graduated senior Long Snappers.

Dear Parents,

You did it! You have produced an upstanding young man that also happens to be one of the best Long Snappers in the country. That is quite an accomplishment to say the least. I know the past couple years have been, let’s just say, interesting. Most likely you have gone through the “I don’t want to be seen with you” stage to the “I need to be seen with you for money and to borrow a car” stage to the “I actually don’t mind your presence that much and kinda enjoy hanging out with you” stage. Well done.

Now comes the hard part, letting them go. There is going to be a fine line in letting them really lead their lives to the fullest and being flat out absent. You need to be there for your child but don’t hold his hand. Guide from a distance is the best way to put it. Since you are a parent of a Long Snapper and Long Snappers play football, there is a pretty darn good shot your son is already heavily involved in the “voluntary” summer workouts. Your son will need you only for motivation right now. His life is going to be a cross between really fun (new place and new people) to really bad (summer workouts mean they push them as hard as possible knowing they have a couple months to be healed) and he is going to need a little push every once in awhile. Keep on him and don’t let him miss a workout. You don’t want him pissing the coach off this soon in his career. They are like me, they remember everything.

During season will be simple due to their schedule. They will be so busy, they won’t have time to miss you, their friends or their home-life. That is a good thing. Keep up with the calls and such. Send them a little treat every so often. Gift card, simple note, baked goods. Doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just something that shows them you are behind them and will always be there for them. They will love it and be the envy of others. Trust me. 

Off-season is going to be very rough for them. They have no football (except conditioning – think summer time but worse since you have even more time to heal) so they will have a lot of free time on their hands. The free time is when they get into trouble with their thinking (too much of it which equals woe is me attitude and wishing for familiarity of home and past friends) and girls (too many of them and one will try to lock on…why wouldn’t they, your son is a Long Snapper!). Between January and May is the time when I would highly suggest a family trip out to the school if possible. He will need some family at this time, even if he doesn’t admit. Also, at this point, he should be acclimated enough to actually show you around and not look like a completely lost moron. Get him through this part of his first year and you should pretty safe the rest of the time. The rest of the time at school will be his second, third and fourth time through the process. This first year is the toughest. If you get to June and he is solid, you are sitting pretty.Do not let them transfer. It rarely works out. If they bring it up, shoot it down immediately. Do not let them fall behind on their grades, it is a rough road to get back on track. Do not let them come home every weekend, they need to spread their wings and learn to survive on their own. I don’t care how much they beg, don’t let them do it.

When it really starts to hit the fan, remember this and feel free to pass this along as it works for the parents and the kids: You are not the first person to go through this process and you definitely won’t be the last. If others can do it, so can you! I have used this phrase a ton in my life and I hope it can help you as well.

Rubio

 

Rubio Professional

_________________________________________________________________

Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

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72

Are You Helping or Hindering Your Athlete?

There is a very simple, tiny little factor that can make a terrific athlete (Long Snapper in this case) an absolute disaster. It isn’t something you can touch, buy or even give to someone. It is a feeling and it is often brought about by a person that loves the athlete the most. The feeling is TENSION and the person(s) often inflicting it are the PARENTS.

Athletes can be tense from self inflicted pressure (rarely) or, more often than not, from an outside source (parent/guardian).

An athlete that is working, truly working (camps, lessons, doing drills on their own, watching film, etc) to become the best KNOWS what rides with each “step” they take in life. They know the implications, they know the ramifications and they know the factors that will enable them to reach their goals within their sport. They got it. Trust me, they know. They do need a little motivation now and again (notice I say motivation which means being positive and not negative) but they do not need to be harassed.

When a parent rides an athlete and nags them, they will make them tense. Very tense. Being tense is not the same as pressure. Pressure is something that every athlete, and person, will have to deal with in life. It is a given. Whether it is a game winning snap, a public speech, a deadline or making your paycheck stretch, you will experience some sort of pressure….so why would you want to add on to that pressure for your son/daughter with tension?

So, how do you know if your athlete is tense? How do you know if your athlete is really into his/her sport and doing it because THEY want to or because YOU want them to? Here are the two biggest ways I have noticed…..
1. Sit back and see who approaches who to get some practice in to get better. Are you asking THEM to get some work in or are they asking YOU? If you find yourself pressing the issue, you might want to pull back a bit. Odds are they are doing it for you, are stressed out and are filled with tension.
2. After each particular key play (a snap in this case) do they focus on what they are doing or do the immediately look up to see your reaction? If an athlete tends to look up immediately for approval from a parent, they are usually running very tense and will never be fully happy or succeed to their fullest extent.

So, what should you (a parent) do? Watch your kid in sports, let them see you NODDING in approval, let them hear you giving them PRAISE and being POSITIVE.

Or don’t.

The choice is yours.

I have been working with top athletes for over a decade and I have NEVER seen one perform better when they are tense. If you simply don’t have the ability to nod (side note: you seriously might want to work on that) I recommend just staying back a bit. Definitely come and support your child but just keep a good distance. Instead of watching from the sideline, watch from the top of the bleachers. Don’t even let your kid know where you are sitting. Spread out. You’ll still be able to see what is happening and relay back to them what you saw.

An athlete will ALWAYS excel at a higher level when they are confident and relaxed. There is enough pressure on them at the camps, competitions, events and games without someone else adding tension to the equation. Be supportive, not suffocating and watch the results skyrocket. No matter how independent a non-adult athlete feels they are,  they will always follow your lead and feed off of you.  Be worth following.

_________________________________________________________________

Chris-Rubio-2Rubio Long Snapping is, by far, the biggest and best resource for Long Snappers in the country. Offering the best instruction and most exposure in the world. Rubio Long Snapping can help you to become the best snapper you can be!

In just 12 years, Chris Rubio, President and Owner of Rubio Long Snapping, has become the #1 Long Snapping instructor in the country and the go-to man when a college coach needs a Long Snapper. Colleges from across the country rely on “Rubio’s” word day in and day out on who the best Long Snappers are in the country. Rubio Long Snapping has assisted in over 300 Long Snappers earning FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to major colleges and universities just for Long Snapping and many into the NFL as well.

 

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