An audience of one
Dawson Zimmerman
CUTigers.com
Posted Sep 9, 2010


CLEMSON - CUTigers intern Cadence Turpin sits down with the ever-elusive Dawson Zimmerman after his impressive performance last week against North Texas.

Four days after bombing a 79-yard punt against North Texas and three days after being named national punter of the week, Dawson Zimmerman sits down with CUTigers:

What do you think has been the biggest difficulty in replicating your performance at practice during games?
Zimmerman: I think transitioning into that game atmosphere has just played a huge part. It’s just been a matter of gaining confidence every time I go out there. I have to trust that my practice and my hard work is going to pay off. I’ve punted 1000s, tens of thousands, millions of balls since last season and I know I’m a better punter than I was last year. I’m really looking forward to this season and hoping that I’ll have my best season yet.

How has all the attention felt after your performance on Saturday?
Zimmerman: A lot of the attention has been undeserved. I still have a lot of work to do going forward trying to stay consistent and trying to have a great season. The reality is that it’s one game and this week’s over, and now it’s time to look forward to the PC game. After that game ends, I’ll be looking forward to the Auburn game. After the Auburn game, it’ll be whoever we play next. I haven’t memorized the schedule yet.

How do you feel like your teammates have stepped up to encourage you?
Zimmerman: To be honest with you, my roommate Landon Walker doesn’t give a crap. No but seriously, I feel like some of the guys on the team have reached out and been supportive, but to be honest with you I think we do a great job of supporting each other as a team already.


“I realize I’m going to eventually have a punt that’s sub-par. I’m not perfect. But it’s important to stay confident no matter what happens, and I think that mindset will pay off for me in the long run.” (Roy Philpott)
Are you preparing any differently this week with the heightened expectations of fans?
Zimmerman: I think I’m preparing even more for this game given that I realize that there are expectations to sustain that level of play. Consistency has been something that coach Swinney and coach Powell have always stressed and it’s my job to prepare myself to be consistent on each game day, day in and day out. I realize I’m going to eventually have a punt that’s sub-par. I’m not perfect. But it’s important to stay confident no matter what happens, and I think that mindset will pay off for me in the long run.

Was your family at the game last week? What’s it been like for them to see you mature as a player?
Zimmerman: Yes. My family has always said they will always be supportive of me no matter how I play or what I do. So for them, I’m sure they are very proud to see my play well, just as they are very proud anytime they see me in a Clemson jersey.

How are you prioritizing and managing your time right now?
Zimmerman: It’s not so much a difference in time management as it is in the way that I mentally prepare for games. Before this game, I was reading my Bible in the hotel room and I came across Psalm 121:1-4 that says “I turn my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from?” My help comes from the Lord, he who made heaven and earth” So when I’m out there in Death Valley, there’s nothing to fear. I play for an audience of One, and this year I want to play every game for the glory of God.

Football’s often performance-based. Like, if someone plays bad they get benched, and if someone plays great they get rewarded. Playing for an audience of one allows me to take comfort in the fact that I’m loved no matter how I play or what I do. And I think that’s one of the most important things I’m keeping in mind this year. It takes off the pressure, the expectation, completely, and I think that’s when I perform best.


Related Stories
Roots in the Plains
 -by CUTigers.com  Sep 18, 2010
Zimmerman Semifinalist for Ray Guy
 -by CUTigers.com  Nov 12, 2010
Powell wants punt team to improve
 -by CUTigers.com  May 3, 2010


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