J.D. Haglan

Quarterback Trainer

Don’t Let It Be You!

July 14th, 2017

Have you ever thought of not being eligible to play football? Wouldn’t you agree this would be a sad day?  To have all the athletic talent to play at the next level, but not have what is most important…the academic profile to live your dream. By being a great athlete, it gives you more reason to want to excel in the classroom…to live that dream…to allow it to become a reality.  Just because you are a great athlete doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention in the classroom.  This is more of a reason.  Stand out for the right reasons.  You are a student-athlete.  You will always be a student first and an athlete second.  Don’t confuse the two.  There are many great athletes that never had the opportunity to play college football because they neglected what is most important…their academics.  Don’t let this be you!

You cannot wait until your junior or senior year to get serious about your grades.  You must be serious the day you enter 9th grade…actually sooner.  Be disciplined and establish good study habits.  It’s too hard to play catch up your junior and senior year.  Your high school “academic clock” starts as soon as you begin 9th grade and ends on your graduation date.  Don’t procrastinate!  You don’t want to be that older person saying, “I wish I would’ve done better in school.”  Give your absolute best effort in the classroom and on the football field…NOW!!!  Please realize this is not a dress rehearsal.

The better your core GPA and SAT/ACT, the greater your opportunity to be recruited.  Remember, you are not only meeting the NCAA/NAIA requirements, you must also meet the academic requirements of the college admissions office.  There are many great athletes that play your position.  If all things are equal (talent, height, weight, speed), the separating factor will be your academics and your attitude.  Make your opportunity because of being disciplined in your academics and in your attitude.  I cannot stress this enough.  A true leader will give great effort inside and outside the classroom.    Be that LEADER!!!  I KNOW you will!!!

From Snap to Whistle…Actual Playing Time

July 6th, 2017

By the time you finish reading this first sentence, you played one down on the football field (no kidding).  What?  From Snap to Whistle, each play takes an average of 5 seconds.  It doesn’t sound like much, but when you play 60 downs at full speed, you will feel a lot different after the game.  You must be in peak condition to give your absolute best.  On each down, can you give everything you’ve got for 5 seconds?

When playing 60 downs in a game, your actual playing time is only 5 minutes for one game.  (Example:  60 downs x 5 seconds = 300 seconds.  300 seconds divided 60 seconds = 5 minutes).   In a 12 game season, your actual playing time is 1 hour and in a 4 year career, your actual playing time is 4 hours. Make your hard work and effort pay off.  No regrets!

When your game, season, and career are chiseled into seconds, you soon realize the importance of managing your training and conditioning.  Everything you do to prepare…counts!  It comes down to seconds…as every play adds up to your career.  Your daily habits and choices on the football field and in the classroom have a compound effect.  These habits and choices made you who you are today…and will make you who you are tomorrow.  Be the leader your team needs.  Make every second count…from Snap to Whistle!

Recruiting Visits

April 29th, 2013

Before you visit the campus of colleges that are recruiting you, it’s important to have a plan.  Human nature leads us to make decisions on emotion rather than logic.  Fine-tuning what’s most important to you ahead of time will help you balance the inevitable emotional aspect that comes from being on campus with the logical goals you have for this big decision.

When I was recruited, I found it helpful to make a list of things I was looking for in my college experience.  Some related to the environment and feel of the campus – it’s location, size, climate, academic offerings – while others were specific to the opportunity at each – level of play, opportunity to play, coaching staff, depth at your position, etc.

Some schools will immediately stand out from others – but what will you do when two or more schools feel like an equally good fit?  Here, you’ll need a memory tool to narrow down your selection.   This will also help to match emotion and logic so that you pick a winner!

I found it helpful to lay out my “big rocks” on a grid.   On the left side, I listed separately each item most important in making my decision.   Above this, I listed the college name I visited.  After each visit, I checked off each item that college met from my wish list.  If the college did not meet a need, that box was left blank.  When my visits were completed, I tallied up the check marks each college received.   The college with the most checks will be the one(s) to research and reflect upon to make your decision.  You might have some items that you’ll choose to give more weight to on your grid.  The grid allowed me to prioritize my selections.  You might wish to further your reflections by journaling after each visit, to capture what about each campus “spoke” most to you.  This will come in handy later as you weigh your selections against one another.

There’s one important point that should not be ignored as you evaluate each campus.  With any luck, you will never have to know the answer.  Ask yourself – if I were to get hurt…would I like this college enough to see me through graduation?  The check marks on the grid will guide you to help answer this question, but you will need to filter each university against this scenario.  It happened to me.  Fortunately, I loved my choice with or without my athletic aspirations.   Answer these tough questions, and you’ll be well on your way to making the right decision for your future.

One final thing…I believe it is important to have a list of questions to ask coaches, potential teammates, and professors or admissions counselors you meet.  Best of luck on your journey!  If there are other questions I can help you with in this process, feel free to contact me.



25 Leadership Qualities of a Great Quarterback

April 11th, 2013
  1. Gives his BEST in the Classroom to make Excellent Grades
  2. Positive Attitude
  3. Believes in himself
  4. Confidence in his ability
  5. Committed
  6. Great Character
  7. Burning Desire to Succeed
  8. Determined
  9. Dependable
  10. ALWAYS Great Effort
  11. Responsible
  12. Tough Minded
  13. Prepared
  14. NEVER Gives Up
  15. Fierce Competitor
  16. Coachable
  17. Does what it takes to succeed
  18. Leads by example
  19. Leader on and off the field
  20. Does what is Right
  21. Willing to Learn
  22. ALWAYS trying to Improve
  23. ALWAYS Challenges himself
  24. Expects the BEST from himself and his teammates  (Leads by example)
  25. TEAM player

When you think you have given everything you’ve got, give a little more.  Go the extra mile to reap the rewards.  Nothing great has ever been accomplished with a mediocre attitude or mediocre effort!  If you want to win, you must pay the price.  There is no shortcut to success.  A great attitude, great effort, a burning desire to succeed, preparation, and perseverance will determine whether you are “interested” or “committed” to becoming your best.  There is a HUGE difference in the two.  Make sure YOU understand the difference.  Make it happen!