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Since earning a starting job in 2008, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has flummoxed defenses and earned two MVP awards and a Super Bowl ring on his way to becoming one of the top players in the NFL.
Part of the Rodgers mystique is just how calm he looks doing it – even during the most high-pressure situations.
In an extended interview with Bill Simmons for the HBO show “Any Given Wednesday,” Rodgers acknowledged that he’s well aware of the reputation he’s earned for “making things look easy” – but he disagrees with the assessment. The reality, he says, is far less glamorous.
“At times people have said – and, you know, it’s a compliment – that I make it look easy or it looks too easy out there,” Rodgers said. “And I just try to remind them: It’s not easy. It’s tough to do what we do; it takes a lot of preparation.”
Rodgers’ ability to stay cool may seem like an innate or preternatural gift – and to some extent a genetic predisposition for composure likely plays a role – but what really inoculates him to nerves is the confidence in knowing that he’s prepared so well for every situation that nothing will catch him off guard.
“I’ve always said we win games between Monday and Saturday. The way you prepare allows you to play with that confidence on the field,” Rodgers continued. “‘Why are you so calm on the field or confident?’ It’s because I’ve played out every scenario from Monday to Saturday. So when I get out there, I’m not surprised a lot.”
No amount of preparation will give you Aaron Rodgers’ abilities on the football field. But the upshot is that his secret for staying calm and confident amid intense situations is replicable by anyone. Whether you’re giving a presentation, leading a seminar, firing an employee, or asking for a raise, it’s reassuring to know that by thoroughly preparing and game-planning for different scenarios, you’re implementing the same tactics that help one of the greatest quarterbacks succeed when everything is on the line.
See more of Rodgers’ interview with Simmons below.