Andrew Luck Shares Quarterback Wisdom With Indiana Athletes

“I love high school sports,” Andrew Luck said. “Playing high school basketball my senior year was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing a sport.”

The keynote speaker at the Indy Star’s inaugural Indiana Sports Awards, the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts spent much of his time growing up on a field or on a court or on a track.

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“I played four years of high school football. I also played four years of high school basketball, so I know it’s a hoop, not a ring. I ran track for two years and I played one year of baseball.”

Luck credits his Colts teammates with helping him learn about Indiana high school sports.

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“I played with Chandler Harnish from Bluffton or Norwell High School, the Knights,” he said. “Jack Doyle, a Cathedral grad, he’s a great, great, great Colt. And then Joe Reitz, a Hamilton Southeastern guy. And we all know in the locker room when HSE is playing Fishers because Joe comes in that week and is freaked out of his mind. He’s amped up. We hear all about it.”

Luck shared the stage at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday night with several Indy sports stars – Indiana Fever forward and four-time Olympian Tamika Catchings, IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter, and Colts teammate Mike Adams.

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Before imparting his own wisdom, Luck asked them for their advice for high school athletes.

“Tamika said, ‘Don’t take it for granted,’” he said. “It can be taken away at any moment.”

“From Mike it was, ‘Dream big,’” something Luck is still doing. “I know when I was a kid, I wanted to be an NFL player and wanted to win a Super Bowl. That’s still my dream, win the Super Bowl.”

“And then Ed’s was, ‘Don’t cheat.’ Which may be a racecar driver thing. I don’t know.”

And then, it was his turn.

“Because I’m a quarterback and because we’re here in Lucas Oil Stadium, I figured I would share some of our quarterback rules or guidelines that we live by,” he said.

“So, the first quarterback rule or guideline is focus on us, not the defense. If you don’t know your own stuff, you’ll never be able to know anything about a defense,” Luck said.

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“Second quarterback rule, a simple thought process. KISS is an acronym I like. Keep it simple, stupid. Football is a complicated game. There’s a lot that goes on.”

And he’s not kidding.

“I’ll call a play in the huddle: gun trips left key right 9-99 special H blue kill 97 punch.”

Just listen to what goes on in the mind of Andrew Luck as he steps up to the line of scrimmage.

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“You say, ‘Oh my gosh, is it under? Is it over? Ok, if it’s over, we’re going to have to less the route this and we’ve gotta righty lefty to make sure the mike who’s coming on this side doesn’t make us hot. And we’re going to have to wave the receiver off when he does that because the receiver knows he’s going to sight if he comes unless we wave him off. You’ve got to see that shell. Oh, there’s two high safeties, Mike’s not disguising very well. Ok, so we’re going to run the ball instead. Alright, we’ve got to run the ball. Oh, look. Someone’s hurt. Oh, no. The play clock is down at zero. Ok. Five yard penalty. Let’s do it again.”

I got worn out just typing that play out.

“Third one, set fast and get the ball out quick. It basically means, set your feet fast and throw the ball quick. And I couldn’t think of a relationship to you guys, so just take it as you will and apply it however you’d like.”

“So the fourth one, this is a Matt Hasselbeckism. He introduced this to me: Drive for five. It means probably nothing to anybody in this room right now.”

It’s basically this – hand off the ball and take five steps like you’re still carrying the ball, only in the opposite direction.

“Sometimes, the most important job is the little one that no one understands and it’s knowing your role on that play.”

And yes, you can apply this one to your life also.

“What can you do to help your teammate, your project partner, your school, your university, your family out?”

Just because it’s not glamorous, Luck said, doesn’t mean it’s not important.

“The fifth one, the last one is the eye in the sky don’t lie.”

Bottom line, the tape doesn’t lie. And it doesn’t get edited either.

“How many times, Mike, have you come off of practice and gone up, I do this, to our video guy and say, ‘I will give you 100 dollars to delete that clip right now from the film.’ But they never do. And it’s good that they don’t.”

To be successful at anything, you must be coachable. For Andrew Luck, it started early – with his dad coaching him in Pop Warner football. His message was simple: respect people.

It’s never about the game. It’s about the journey, the relationships, and the people you inspire along the way.

The lessons you learn playing sports can carry you anywhere.

Just ask Andrew Luck.