Josh Rosen always imagined himself to be a professional athlete, he just didn’t always think it would come in football. In fact, for most of his youth, Rosen was sure he’d be a more likely member of the ATP Tour than an NFL sideline.
Now that Rosen is on the verge of achieving his goal in his original second sport, he can see where his original training in tennis has set the stage for him to be a successful NFL quarterback, as he outlined in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“The thing about tennis that helped me a lot was because of how many points you lose,” Rosen told the Times’ Sam Farmer. “[Even] if you beat someone, 6-0, 6-0, you’re going to lose quite a couple of points … so you have to move on from lost points, because it’s going to happen. You have to learn how to keep moving and pushing on.
“It’s not how you get knocked down, it’s how you get back up.”
In Rosen’s case, that was apparently the initial spur that inspired him to focus on football full time. A top-50 national tennis prospect at age 12, he suffered a serious shoulder injury. The rehab process made him question how much he truly loved tennis and he eventually came to the conclusion that he was more passionate about football.
The rest, as they say, is history, which Rosen aims to make again once he knows where he’s headed Thursday night. And some experts believe that Rosen’s tennis background give him an ideal athletic skill set to succeed wherever he winds up.
“There’s going to be a lot of good from tennis,” former NFL quarterback turned ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck told Farmer. “The toughest thing is going to be, that’s not a team sport. So the vibe you get from people is going to be, ‘Well, how’s that going to be with the coaching staff and his teammates?’
“But I think he’s growing and learning that way. I would always express to my strength and conditioning coaches, ‘Hey, I’m all in on these workouts that you’re having me do, the same workouts as the linebackers and linemen. But I feel it would be better if I trained like a tennis player.’ Power cleans are great, but I need a little more lateral. I’m not really tackling anybody. There’s value in it, but you’re a side-to-side athlete as a quarterback.”