A yearlong, behind-the-scenes look at the booming—and lucrative—business of coaching upcoming quarterbacks.
Across all sports, coaching is a $5.9 billion industry. Fox Sports’ senior football commentator Feldman (Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting, 2008, etc.) examines the elite #TDFB high school football quarterback training camp (and related programs) created by ex–NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer—what Dilfer calls a “holistic coaching ecosystem that unites coaches and expands their influence”—for athletes and independent coaches. The author chronicles the progress and development (and emotional immaturity) of frenetic, loose cannon QB (Feldman calls them QBs throughout the book) Johnny Manziel from his time at Texas A&M University, his performance at the high-stakes NFL Combine and first-round selection in the NFL draft. Feldman also examines the career of veteran QB coach George Whitfield Jr., the “QB Whisperer,” who has trained several star NFL quarterbacks. Credit Feldman for inserting himself in camp and sharing a variety of inside observations—e.g., the most desirable characteristic scouts look for in a high school recruit isn't hand size, arm strength or even accuracy, but an intangible “magic,” what Dilfer calls “Dude Qualities.” It’s the ability to thrive in high-pressure situations, how you “own the environment.” In a chapter Feldman amusingly and fittingly titles “The Pageant World For Boys,” he reports on how parents will pay $700 per hour for one-on-one coaching and that a year of tutoring at a QB camp can cost $60,000. Indeed, access to exclusive coaching appeals to “QB dads,” whom he describes as Type-A, myopic and even nutty. Feldman reveals Dilfer's vision for his football enterprises as well as his frequent, pompous declarations, such as describing coach Whitfield as “a rock star in the QB space.”
Enlightening for those interested in performance psychology, kinetic motion analysis and the “competitive temperament” of alpha males.