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NFL Quarterback Says Performance Requires Going on Autopilot

Any skill, art, or good habit requires more than knowledge. It also requires hours of training and practice. For instance, when Alec Baldwin asked NFL quarterback Andrew Luck what he thinks about when he drops back to pass, Luck said, "You don't want to think about it." Luck went on to describe how passing mechanics have to be so deeply ingrained into the body that they are on autopilot during a game. The body "knows" how to throw, but knows how to read the entire football field.

Being an NFL quarterback is mindboggling. There are eleven men on each team, each one moving simultaneously. And there are a bunch of 300-pound opponents who want to crush you into the ground. It's as if an entire life-sized and live chess match is being played in the blink of an eye. The quarterback has about three seconds to survey the entire field, assessing all the patterns, finding the most open teammate, and throwing a perfect strike to a man who is on a full-out sprint.

With any skill or performance, information alone is not enough; it must be translated into know-how in the body. It's true for athletes, musicians, actors, plumbers, woodworkers, engineers, computer programmers, doctors, nurses, auto mechanics, and hedge fund managers. The skills required for these positions become so ingrained that after years of practice, one can do them almost automatically.

Possible Preaching Angles: Spiritual disciplines, worship, and Christian character/virtue are all the same way—they require hours and years of practice and participation until they become almost automatic.

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