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Thursday Round-Up: Geno Smith Breaks Down Self-Belief On Finding Mastery Podcast 

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith dives into his self-belief journey through his darkest moments and finding a way to continue to evolve through success.


Good afternoon, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Thursday, September 7— about your Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith Joins Michael Gervais' Finding Mastery Podcast

Last season was the ultimate year of evolution for Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, ascending from longtime backup to the 2022 AP Comeback Player of the Year. But earning his first Pro Bowl nomination and taking Seattle to the playoffs didn't make the West Virginia alum complacent, it made his belief in himself even stronger moving ahead. This week, Smith sat down with podcaster and psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais to discuss keeping the faith in himself at his lowest; and pushing himself to get even better after a year to remember.

When he’s not alone discussing overcoming life’s perils and defying the odds, Gervais brings in professionals across various fields on the pod to discuss how they’ve become the best at what they do, including a longtime relationship with the Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll. In 2022, Smith led the NFL with a 69.8 completion percentage, throwing for a career-high 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns. Just a year ago at this time, Smith was competing with teammate Drew Lock for the starting position, amidst doubt from many across national media after several seasons on the bench. But Smith's belief in himself has made a believer out of many across the league. In July, Smith was voted as No. 77 on the NFL Top 100 by his peers and coaches around the league. But that wasn't always the case, as Smith attempted just over 100 passes between 2015-2021 while shuffling between four teams (New York Jets, New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle). Smith breaks down when it clicked for him to stop feeling sorry for himself and become a better team player.

"How I developed the toughness to suck it up was to become a better teammate," said Smith. "Less of me, more about others. So I stopped thinking about myself and what I could do, to how I could help the team this way and on the field. Well, I can still help the team just from a different vantage point. So that's where you see I was just engaged with the guys on the sideline. I almost took the approach of, man, I'm a coach now. I'm one of the coaches on game day. If there's someone who needs something, whether it's water, you need a towel, you need some information about the defense, Russell, what defense do they call on third down? Emotionally like, how's Russ feeling? How's Philip (Rivers) feeling? Do I need to pick them up? Do I need to tell them something to encourage them? So I just became less about me, and I made it more about others, and it made me even more humble. I thought I was humble at first, now I truly am void of ego. I could care less about a lot of things that I once cared about. So it took a transformation, but it was hard to do that."

On Wednesday, Coach Pete Carroll named the West Virginia alum one of six 2023 captains, a title Smith has been bestowed for the first time since college. Carroll discussed his happiness in the team seeing the value in their quarterback.

"Really, it just makes so much sense," said Carroll. "I'm proud that he got that done, our guys believe in him that way."

Smith discussed the importance of leadership and buying into setting the right example even before his success.

"When you think about leadership," said Smith. "Like you said, it's not just a position or a title, it's who you are, it's what you do. Leadership, to me, starts with integrity. It starts with yourself, the type of character you have when no one's watching. What do you do when no one's watching? Do you change when people are watching or when no one's watching? For me, I keep things the same no matter what. I'll be walking down the street, if I see trash on the ground, I'll pick it up. If I'm in the locker room and there's something out of place, I'll put it back in place. It has nothing to do with who's watching or anything, it's just the way that I am. I want to be neat and nice, and I want things to be done a certain way, and so I want to do everything that way. There's no on and off switch with leadership. You can't be that way. You either are or you aren't."

After throwing two touchdowns to defeat the Denver Broncos and former quarterback Russell Wilson in the 2022 home opener, Smith forewarned the world about his upcoming season of excellence.

"They wrote me off, but I ain't write back though" said Smith to reporters following the 17-16 win at Lumen Field.

"Getting to say that after a game that you played well in," said Smith. "Well, it started with everything I had done up to that point. That's what gave me the confidence in that moment to say what I said, because I knew what I was going to do throughout the course of the season because I knew the consistent work that I was going to put in every single day to make sure that I was in the right mindset, physically I was in the right state. Then confidence wise, I knew that I had done everything that I could do to be prepared for this week. I don't think anyone else has worked as hard as I've worked this week. In fact, I know no one else did. So that's why I need to go out here and ball out and play great, because I put the work in. I know I'm ready, and this is just another way for me to capture a moment. This is just another moment for me in the step-to-step process that I take."

This offseason, Smith embarked on a self-improvement journey, changing his workout regime and his diet. Removing dairy, red meat and sweets from the menu has resulted in a noticeably-leaner Smith, as the 32-year-old enters Year 10. Preparation is key, and Smith's consistency in getting ready has played a big part in execution for practice and on gameday.

"My ideal mindset for practice and game day is perfection when it comes to execution," said Smith. "Perfection in my footwork, perfection in my delivery, my reads, perfection in my body language, the way that I enter into the stadium, the way that I enter into the huddle when I wake up that morning, what I eat for breakfast, I take that on a day-to-day basis, to be honest with you. I truly challenge myself. Was the day better than yesterday? Was this game better than the last game? I could have had a perfect game, 23 of 24, and threw a bunch of touchdowns, and I'm saying, "Well, that's one incompletion, so I need to get that completion for the next one," and so always challenging and pushing myself. I think a true competitor is never satisfied no matter what he does, because to me it's about the next mountain you climb. You get to the top of the mountain, and you don't get to stay there. You got to come down, then you got to go climb another one if you want to get that feeling again. So for me, it's like continuing to find new mountains to climb."

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