UW Health Sports Medicine 

The Voice: Budmayr's approach a lesson for all of us

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgImagine you are in the third year of your job. You know you still have plenty to learn, but you have gone about your business the right way. You have earned the respect of your bosses and your peers. You seem to have put yourself in position to earn a promotion.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, along comes someone with a very impressive skill set and more experience. He joins your "team," and now your promotion may or may not be put on hold.

Welcome to Jon Budmayr's world.

Last spring, most of us probably assumed the redshirt sophomore was in line to be the Badgers' starting quarterback. That was before the UW's biggest off-season story unfolded, with Russell Wilson transferring from NC State to UW.

Now, most observers assume when the season begins on Sept. 1, it will be Wilson at the controls.

Maybe that is how it will be, but there is an old saying about the word "assume"--it can make an (blank) out of you and me. Get it?

Maybe Wilson is the key ingredient to the Badger's offense. Training camp practices will settle that competition, but I get the impression neither Wilson nor Budmayr is assuming anything. At Sunday's media day session, both young men handled wave after wave of questions with nothing but class.

Wilson repeatedly stated that he "is blessed" to be a part of the UW program, and wants to learn as much as he can as quickly as he can.

If this storyline has ticked off Budmayr, he is hiding his anger very well.

"It's good," he says. "Everything, since I've been here, is a learning experience. This is just another one that I am going through. It will help me the rest of my career, and down the road in life."

No doubt a big assist goes to offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who kept Budmayr up to speed on what was happening as "Russell-mania" was gaining steam.  

"You can kind of control it," Budmayr explained. "If you don't let it become overwhelming, and you just embrace it and go with it, then it can be OK."

Last spring, Budmayr had his ups and downs. Those who watched the spring game walked away wondering about the offense. Keep in mind that many programs keep the defense very vanilla in spring games, with little if any blitzing. The Badgers used a different approach, putting the offense in uncomfortable situations that you might not see in other spring games across the country.   

During the March and April practices, Budmayr had a chance to learn some valuable lessons about on-field decision making. At the conclusion of spring drills, he looked back at practice video. Now, he believes he has a better idea of what he can and cannot do in certain situations.  

Scott Tolzien went through a similar process, and he turned out to be pretty good, right? Budmayr might lack game experience, but he paid close attention to Tolzien's work ethic and preparation.

"Not a day goes by that he (Tolzien) is not focusing on something to get better. Keep working, keep pushing on. Keep trying to get better and improve your skills."

If you are in Jon Budmayr's shoes, it might be easy to pout. He seems to be taking the opposite approach, which is just what any coach would want to see. It makes me wonder how many of us in the "working world" would react the same way in a similar situation.  

Not that I am assuming anything, but do you really believe all of us would have Budmayr's attitude? We can only hope so.

It is true that sports can present life lessons to the participants. Perhaps in this case, it also can teach a life lesson to the rest of us.