Nervous at a Rubio Long Snapping Camp? You Aren’t Alone!

Sineath, TannerThis essay was written by Rubio Long Snapper Tanner Sineath (SC, ‘2016). His mother sent it to me…I think without him knowing, but who cares:) and I loved it. I think it really does a good job of showing the emotions and feelings that arise at someone’s first Rubio Long Snapping camp. First timers, parents and Long Snappers, must realize you are not alone and for every single GREAT Long Snapper you see on the field, they had a start and it usually wasn’t good…check films:)


I walked up to the registration table and gave my name, received my camp shirt and went off on my own to get ready to go out on the field. I looked around wishing I was like the other seasoned campers all gathered together. The campers already had nicknames from the camp coaches. They were walking around in their special gold shirts, and I felt hunger. I wanted a gold shirt, I wanted a nickname, I wanted the coaches to know me, I wanted to go out and show them all who I was. Wait! Was that jealousy? Probably, but I didn’t care. It fueled me. I was focused. I was going to make it happen. I was going to have them notice me.

That is when I was snapped back into reality! One of the gold shirts snapped the ball, and I thought DANG! I have bitten off more than I can chew! Suddenly the hunger was gone, and replaced by doubt. I didn’t belong here. I was never going to have a nickname, or a gold shirt, or to be part of the group. I tried to swallow, but it just stayed stuck in my throat like a wad of peanut butter. There is no worse feeling than wanting to retreat, but knowing you can’t. I told myself what is the worst thing that can happen? I told myself back, you will look like a fool in front of everyone! I then decided well at least no one knows me here so if I embarrass myself no one will remember it tomorrow.

There it was, they called my name! Time to show them what I have. I felt like I did ok, not great, but at least it didn’t totally suck! I learned a lot that day! I learned I am my own worst enemy. I learned that I am the only person that can hold me back. Then we went to lunch, and I talked to my parents about my feelings. They did their best job of loading me with clichés of doing your best, and hard work pays off. Along with all of the other things good parents are supposed to say. I am in no way saying I didn’t appreciate it, quite the contrary, it was what I wanted to hear from them, but at the same time I was worried, and not realizing the moment was perfect. I was surrounded by love and support, but so bogged down with self-doubt that I couldn’t really appreciate it.

We head back to the camp, and we are reviewing our snapping videos. Rubio got to my video and had positive things to say about my video, and it pretty much made my whole day. Why is it that a strangers words mattered so much more than my parent’s words? Oh yeah, because he didn’t have to say nice things to me. That wasn’t what he was getting paid to do. He is getting paid to teach me. Boy did he! Not just about snapping, but about life, about others opinions, and how even though the world says it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks or says it absolutely does. No college coach is going to call my mom to get her opinion of me, but they will call him. His opinions and words can open or close doors.

What was my point in all of this? My point is that the world is filled with challenges. It is filled with ups and downs. I have no doubt that football has helped me prepare for the real world. This is one example. It is the most vivid example I have. I am grateful for every moment, every life lesson, every friend, and every rival. They have all prepared me for the real world.


Dealing with Pressure

As I have mentioned in one of my previous Long Snapping blogs that discussed my first snap, I am an over-thinker. And, in being so, I know that it can get you into a lot of trouble in Long Snapping, sports and life in general. When I was playing, I quickly realized that I needed to be able to calm my thinking and just focus (while not thinking) on the task at hand. This can be hard to do, especially when you start thinking about not thinking. Thankfully, I had a Meyers. 
What is a Meyers you ask? Meyers is a human (allegedly) that was an offensive guard when I played at UCLA (key word: offensive). He is, by far, the meanest man I have ever come across in my life. I could devote an entire year’s worth of blogs simply to him and I guarantee half of the stories you would swear are fake when they are all dead on true. He was approximately 6’6″, 350 lbs, with a gap in his teeth that could hold 35 cents (no dimes), skinny legs, a barrel chest (jacket size: 60), sweated so bad he would have to change his entire uniform at half and had a chip on his shoulder the size of Vermont. 


Meyers crushed this person…
then went after his family…
and then had ribs….
Anyway, Meyers and I were in cahoots (thank the Lord) and I requested he be right next to me on p.a.t.s. This was good and bad. It was bad for a couple reasons. First, Meyers would yell (imagine an angry trucker that was raised by wolves) at the defensive players which in turn made them upset and want to crush me (remember, I played when you could hit the Long Snapper). Never really understood why they would take out their frustration on me, but they did. Meyers was also famous for letting a defensive player get about half way past he and I, simply so he could try to really take out their knee and/or break their leg. Meyers didn’t seem to care that he would essentially slam the guy into my knee as well. I tried to explain this to Meyers and he just grunted and told me to shut up. I embraced and thanked God he was on my team. 

The good about Meyers was that it gave me someone to talk to and that is how I handled my nerves. From the time I got out to the huddle (we huddled on field which was great for TV time) to the time I snapped a perfect ball, I spoke to Meyers. I would ask about plans after the game, if he was hungry, what was his favorite movie and why he was so sweaty. He really hated the sweaty comment and would always proceed to tell me it was because he was an actually player and not a Long Snapper. Of course, I would ask why he was so sweaty the most:). The point is, by speaking to Meyers, it took my mind off the task at hand. I knew I worked right (not just hard) at practice and I knew was capable. The only thing that would stop me was, well, ME. I would be so enthralled with the conversation and what would come out of Meyer’s mouth, that the play would be over before I even had a chance to think about it. Did it work? Yup. I never had one bad snap in college.

Right about now you are thinking, “But I don’t have a Meyers, so what should I do?” Couple things have worked with my Long Snappers over the years. I advised one of my Long Snappers before each snap to look into the crowd, find the best looking girl and point directly at her. He was a major over-thinker and this helped him immensely. He would break the huddle, walk slowly to the ball while looking to the crowd. Given, in being a Long Snapper, he was built like a god and looked like Brad Pitt’s better looking brother, so t
he ladies already loved him. Once they figured out what he was doing, they would clamor to be the “one.” This method worked perfectly for him in Long Snapping and with the ladies.

Another thing that has worked for my Long Snappers is to simply get down with your perfect form, get your hands on the ball and say something absurd. From “sexy avocado” to “flapjack wilson” to “Rubio is sexy.” A Long Snapper will be so intrigued with the off the wall statement, they will forget about thinking…which is always a good thing.

If you are prepared correctly and have worked right, there is no reason to think during the game. Couple great examples of this are John Wooden and Phil Jackson. Both coaches are legends and were the best ever in college and the pro’s that basically did NOTHING during a game. Seriously, if you ever watched an older UCLA game or a modern day Lakers game, those two didn’t even look like they were paying attention or could care less. Why? Because they prepared their team correctly before the game. The bottom line is you want to make sure you are prepared enough before the game that there is no need to think during the game.

Got you thinking now, don’t I?


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.