This is the first of four consecutive journals on minicamp from Seahawks second round draft choice John Carlson, the tight end from Notre Dame
It was good to have four solid days of practice last week and then the weekend off in order to kind of process everything we went over last week. I feel comfortable with all the terminology, the names of the plays, and my responsibility on every play after having a weekend to go back over everything.
The mental repetition always helps make everything come more easily as time goes on.
I had hurt my hamstring in workouts before minicamp, so I wasn't able to practice as hard early in the week as I would have liked, but that doesn't mean I don't get anything out of the practice. You can learn whether you're on the field or you're doing a mental rep on your own. It's your responsibility to watch whoever is in there at your position and be aware of everything they do and what they get done when they are on the field. I got to watch it, and then watched it again on film and in meetings.
So I don't feel like last week was wasted. I got to play more and more as the week progressed and I'm glad that the hamstring feels much better this week. Now I'm able to do more this week and take more reps.
Everything is coming along. There's a lot of improvement for me to make every day. But it's just great to be out there and learning as much as I can every day to reach my goal of improving all summer going into the season.
The rain today is just part of football. Unfortunately I dropped a ball today I should have caught. But that's my fault. I need to concentrate better and look the ball in every time. That's just fundamental football, whether it's raining or not. We're going to play in games with this type of weather and worse, so it's good to practice in it.
My job is to carry out my assignment, whether it's blocking for a run or running a route the right way whether I'm thrown to or not. Over the years that I've been an athlete, which has been most of my life, I've tried to put higher expectations on myself than anyone else could have for me. By doing that, it kind of alleviates the pressure I could feel from outside sources.
In my case, I've found it most beneficial to practice, get the tape of that practice, and then go in and watch it. That gives me the opportunity to really get a feel for what I did well and what I didn't do well. That allows me to see what I need to improve upon tomorrow. There are little things that I can see the defense do to me in coverage, allows me to recognize things a little bit more.
So watching film after practice is extremely beneficial to me. The goal is to improve a little bit every day, and hopefully I learned a little bit today that will carry over and that's way it will go the rest of the week.
John Carlson on Staying Focused
Today's practice was similar to yesterday for me. There were some new things we did out there and hopefully I learned from some of the mistakes that I made. Obviously, we reviewed a lot of the old stuff, and the one thing that stays the same is the goal is to continually improve.
It's important to keep that kind of focus to stay balanced in my approach.
I try to keep my eye on that goal to be as good as I can be and not worry about the rest. You never want to make mistakes as a player, but you do. You don't want to drop balls, you don't want to miss blocks, and no matter what happens you've just got to push through it and not make the same mistake again. Mistakes happen and one of the toughest things as a player is learning how to deal with them.
On the inside, I'm pretty hard on myself. I do my best not to get negative because if you do, it's not going to help things at all. The key is to continue to challenge myself and stay positive at the same time. You don't want to over think any situation and you need to leave the mistakes behind. That's something I'm still working on. You've got to forget about it and focus on the next task at hand. It's just easier said than done.
Sometimes, I can do that. But it's something I need to work on. Definitely, if you don't let your previous mistakes go, there can be a snowball effect – where one mistake becomes two, then all of a sudden you're thinking about it and you can't let it go. That leads to not reading the play correctly or not making the catch. There's no way you can get your job done consistently if you get caught up in that kind of thinking.
So it's important to be able to learn from your mistakes and move on. That's how you improve.
I'll be honest ... it's tough to absorb all of this going on here. There's a lot of information, a lot of specifics you need to know about each play. To continue to learn the new plays and still review the old plays is time consuming, but that's my job.
There were some similar pass routes and even similar run plays at Notre Dame, but the terminology was completely different. The good thing is there is some carryover and I learned a great deal from the coaches there. The big difference is executing at another level of competition.
The best thing is for me to keep it simple as possible. I just want to learn from the previous day's mistakes and not repeat them. If I can do that, I know I'll continue to learn and get better every day. With everything on our plate, that's the best approach I can take and hopefully accomplish what the coaches want me to get done on a daily basis.