Rick Morton

Nick Saban’s approach to the mental side of football is well documented. Talk about “the Process” is heard almost as commonly as “Roll Tide” among die-hard Alabama fans. Despite the talk about the Process, most Alabama fans don’t know much about it. Outside of a fragmented set of principles listed across the Internet, the real blueprint of success for Alabama football remains a mystery to people outside the Alabama program.

The Mystery of Bryce Young’s Quiet Confidence

Recently, another mystery regarding the mental side of football at Alabama was on my mind . The emergence of Alabama Quarterback Bryce Young and his Heisman Trophy-winning season placed a huge spotlight on this young man. What’s remarkable is how little the attention seemed to affect him. Even more impressive is the strength of his leadership coming from a really low-key almost introverted personality. Bryce Young is as cool as a cucumber while bullets are flying around him. The question is why?

How and why he is able to manage the mental side of the game (and life) so well for a 20-year-old? One aspect is his faith. Given the opportunity to talk about his accomplishments, Young is quick to point to his faith in Christ. He says his faith is the source of his strength and the ultimate point to his life.

It All Comes Back to Parenting

As far as relationships go, it’s pretty evident that two of Bryce’s closest are his parents, Craig and Julie. Over the course of this year, Bryce Young’s parents were a fixture around Alabama games. They supported in wins and losses. Along the way, we all got a glimpse into the supportive home life that the Youngs built around Bryce.

As a guy who cut my teeth in local church youth ministry, I am fascinated by the fathely leadership that Craig Young exercised with Bryce. A few recent media interviews pull back the curtain a little, but I have a feeling there is a great deal more intentionality to Craig Young’s parenting than he’s ever let on to anyone outside his family.

Father Knows Best

As a former collegiate athlete himself, Craig Young breaks the mold of manic sports fathers. Instead of being a Marv Marinovich-esque father intent on molding the next prototype QB, he’s a supportive man of faith who has been intentional about helping his son build tools of emotional stability that will serve him well on and off the field for a lifetime.

Perhaps Craig expressed the key in a recent Los Angeles Times article by J. Brady McCollough. Craig said regarding the coaches and trainers who invested in Bryce along the way,

I never completely gave my son to any of those guys, whoever we worked with. I was at every practice, every workout, in constant dialogue with them. But I was not in the way of them doing the technical work with Bryce. I always allowed coaches to coach. I was paying them for their expertise. My strengths were devising the plan. But I’m not a quarterback coach.


Let’s Hope for More

In the years to come, I hope we can hear more from Craig Young. Amidst an epidemic of fatherlessness in the world around us, I imagine the insights from the father of the current Heisman Trophy winner would be every bit as fascinating as learning the deep insights of Saban’s process…and perhaps more valuable.

What would you like to hear from Craig Young about his parenting of Bryce and role in developing his son into an elite QB?

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