Shimonek ready to show hard work, confidence will prove doubters wrong
Confidence is something that can be hard to instill in those that lack it. Faltering time and time again can wear away at you, tearing you down until faith, trust, and self belief are simply thrown aside. They aren't in the cards.
And the only way to regain that confidence is to get to work. That's what Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek would tell you.
He believes in preparation as the catalyst for confidence. If you've taken your time to prepare with passion and precision, then you shouldn't have room for doubt. Why be unsure when you know you've done everything to be ready for the coming moment when your name will be called on?
That's what creates confidence for the senior signal caller, and with summer workouts nearly in the books, he believes Texas Tech football will follow his lead in 2017.
"We put in the work, so we really don't have a choice but to be confident. We won't have a game this next year where I step on the field and think we don't have a chance to win, no matter who we're playing. That's just how I was raised. Whether we're out out-manned, outmatched at certain positions, whatever the case may be. On Saturdays you always have a chance. We've seen it happen time and time again. As far as being intimidated or expecting a low number of wins, I wouldn't put too much thought into that."
But it's not just about Shimonek and his steely reserve. He knows that. The team has to have a group of leaders who - simply put - lead. The quarterback believes that was something the team lacked in 2016.
"I think we have more leaders than in the past years. That was a big thing for us last year. We were in the majority of the games (we lost), probably five of the seven, and we just couldn't find a way to win. That comes down to being a leader for myself, for Cam (Batson), for (Talor) Nunez, all these guys. We've just got to figure out how to take that next step."
Something Shimonek feels this leadership group has instilled in the team is a sense of fearlessness. That's what he believes this team's personality will revolve around this fall.
"I feel like nobody on the team is really intimidated by anybody, anything, any workout, any team that we're going to play this year. I know that I'm personally not. So, if these guys follow my lead, I think we'll be in good hands."
Unlike most quarterbacks in modern college football, Shimonek -as a senior - will get just one year to prove his worth as a Red Raider. But as you'd expect, having only one shot to make his mark doesn't phase the QB one bit.
"I can't wait. I've been working for this a long time. I've said it in the past, but I've been fortunate to sit behind four guys that got drafted, and not a lot of guys can say that. Not a lot can say they sat behind one. To sit behind four, I feel like now it's my time. I've been working with these guys all summer, shoot, the last three or four summers, so I'm ready to put this product that we've been making on the field."
"Obviously Pat was unbelievable (last year). Obviously I wish I could've gotten more playing time, but I can't blame Coach Kingsbury for playing him. He's a top 10 draft pick. If he was available to go, he was going to go. But I think the thing that's helped me the most, as I noted, is that I've sat behind four guys that personally I feel like I'm just as good as them, and they were terrific. Most of them won a lot of football games, so I think it's just about trying to prove that we can do this. We're going to be ready."