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Psychology Behind NFL Draft Selection


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

April 26, 2013

For the college standouts chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft, the moment ushers in a major transition in their personal and professional lives. Accordingly, the athletes and the teams courting them would be well served to absorb the observations of Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, founder, chairman and CEO of the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs, ComPsych.

Top draft picks are human beings that happen to be really good at a certain skill set, Chaifetz says. But the expectations we have for them are that they really aren’t human, because we perceive these people as being wildly different from you and me.

In general, NFL teams should look for the same things in their new hires that any savvy business looks for. The top three characteristics that teams should look for in a player, according to Chaifetz, are: first, someone who has a passion to perform, and second, a history of impeccable character. The third essential factor teams should look for in a prospect, he says, is persistence—the drive and willingness to push through to the next point or the next level.




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Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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