Slingin It with QB Velocity #8 with Former Notre Dame and Florida Quarterback Malik Zaire
For Season 3 Episode 8 of Slingin It with QB Velocity we got a chance to sit down and talk to former Notre Dame and Florida Quarterback Malik Zaire.
Malik Zaire was a highly touted quarterback coming out of Kettering, Ohio. He played four seasons at Notre Dame and then played his graduate years at Florida.
In the episode we got a chance to talk about how Malik Zaire stood out from the rest of the recruits, how it was getting recruited, why he chose to go to Notre Dame, and how he dealt with his injury and his journey back.
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When did you first fall in love with the game of football?
“...Going back to flag football days. When I was in second or third grade and then having that comradery and being an only child, getting out there with like 21 other people on the field.
It just felt like that was the place for me to use my drive and to do the best. The competitive aspect picked up there. I did not want to put the football down after that.”
What makes you appreciate the game of football so much?
“In the world from the quarterback perspective. There is nothing else in the world where you get to direct and manage ten other guys in the field, like that to accomplish one goal. Being on your P's and Q's and then making sure that you got everything in the right place, it’s really a great chess game that I like to play.
That’s why I love playing. It's like my little chess set. Just to be able to have 11 guys on the field and accomplish an objective. In the midst of all the crazy stuff that happens in between its unpredictable. It's better than going to the movies, so that and then half of it is entertainment.
So, you know you got to have an entertaining guy. You as a player, you know a lot of guys that do not. It is not that exciting to watch, so it is a mix between being entertaining and being like an ultimate warrior. So, I appreciate the process of the game and what it brings but the challenges that come within the unpredictability as well.”
In your opinion what did you do on or off the field that made you stand out?
“Man, it is a cliche, but it was the work I put in for me. I honestly just felt like my constant communication, working hard to feel like I was doing what my coaches want. Talking to my teammates, building those relationships. It really comes down to trust.
You get out on the field and so much going on. You got to be able to really trust that person and really trust the coaches. That they are thinking the same way you are, especially in the heat of the moment and making sure the players that you are looking for are on the same page because that makes or breaks a lot of offenses and makes or breaks a team.
So constantly building relationships on and off the field, in my opinion, is the best way outside of just saying I worked hard. It really meant something to me, and it came together very well when the time came for me to be able to play. That, in my opinion, separated me throughout my whole football career in terms of what was the difference between me and the next guy.”
How do you communicate with a teammate that you do not agree completely with?
“Part of it is just having that common goal, like what is the objective? Why are we even here together? And when you are in that space of competitive working in team buildings, it’s not really about liking the other individuals. It’s what is it going to take to get on the same page to get the job done.
When you're working within a team situation, you really avoid a lot of them. The emotional side and the things that come with it that you really can't control.
I believe it's very important to build relationships on and off the field, because that's how you can really squash and handle the things that can come in. And fearing in and when you need it the most in the meeting or the other so it’s super important for you to be able to, you know, not be emotional a lot of times.
So what if somebody doesn't like you? Not everybody is going to like you, especially these fans. You shouldn’t worry about liking and not liking somebody.
You know for yourself, challenge yourself. How can I get somebody that is not on board on board? You got to really understand that because it can really make or break your whole operation and it is the smallest thing.”
Is there a particular drill that you like to do as a Quarterback?
“Oh man, I was super ritualistic when it came to drills and fine tuning up my skill development. One of my favorite drills, it's funny because it's like ‘How do you explain the drillable phone?’ but actually, I got some pretty good drill work stuff from the Packers QB school.
So, there's some simple like L movements and really just working on the small movements within the pocket with bags. Do the high knees over, being able to get comfortable moving in confined spaces and then just daily continuous working on that motion.
Looking in the mirror visualizing, where a lot of the things mentally, that I felt help increase my game that much more. At a certain point you can only do so many drawbacks and so many throws into the out routes. So, for me my biggest changes once I got to a certain level was the mental aspect, and visualization of the game.
This game is really concerned because quarterbacks got to be the most technical in my opinion. As the most efficient player on the team, even though you are not lifting or running the most. Even not the most visible you got to be able to be posted and so that it requires a lot of mental focus. It takes a lot of practice to do that.”