“A Winning Effort Begins With Preparation” — Joe Gibbs


In part 1, we looked at the benefits of waiting to start your own foundation, accepting different coaching strategies than what you’re used to, saying no to family and friends, and some other stuff.  Let’s finish up.  I got some other stuff to do.  I’m kidding.  Kinda.

Learn how to deal with the media. And that goes for social media too, not just traditional media.  A great rule of thumb is to never say anything to a reporter that you could be ashamed of or regret later; And don’t say anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t say to a reporter.

Things you say can and will be used against you, in the court of public opinion. Matter of fact, it wouldn’t hurt to keep your media interaction to a minimum for your entire rookie season, until you got used to dealing with the media.  You ain’t gotta be in the NFL to know that the media has a history of  twisting around your words, which can leave you with a bad reputation that can be hard to shake.

You don’t want to start out your career on a bad note.

Darrent Williams' family was left in bad financial shape when he was gunned down on January 1, 2007, just 12 hours after playing his final game against the San Francisco 49ers. (ICON)

Expect to succeed, put prepare to struggle. Even the best players will tell you that regardless of the school they played at in college, the speed of the NFL game is a lot faster, and it takes time to get adjusted.

Even the best go through it.  Even the most highly celebrated and accomplished college football players struggle in the NFL, initially.   Don’t be too hard on yourself, man.  Just learn from your mistakes, and move forward.

Make sure you have extra insurance. Over 100 MLB, NBA, and NFL players have died during


their career.  Of course, you don’t think it will happen to you, but the sobering reality is that it can.

Think about the people that are relying on you income-wise; children, parents, significant others, etc.  If you die, think about the kind of financial situation you’re leaving your loved ones with.

Don’t just rely on the life insurance policy provided under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

When Darrent Williams was murdered a few years ago, the life insurance policy provided by the league wasn’t enough to provide for his two kids, leaving the Broncos and their fans to start a fund to help provide for his kids.

Seriously consider umbrella insurance, as well as a disability policy.  I’ll go more in-depth about insurance in another post in the near future.  I just can’t stress enough the importance of being properly insured in life in general, but especially as a professional athlete.

Get a will done. When Steve McNair passed away, he didn’t have a will, leaving his family with no access to his $19 Million estate for over a year.  When Sean Taylor was killed, he didn’t have a will, and his daughter was the only person that inherited anything, leaving the rest of his loved ones that relied on him with nothing.

What are some tips you’d like to recommend to NFL rookies?  Leave a comment!

Below, Financial Advisor Robert Wilson shares some phenomenal, yet basic, insights on the importance of estate planning for all of us, not just pro football players.  I just watched it again myself, and it inspired me to dust off my own will, to make sure my wife and little girl are taken care of.

You should follow me on Twitter, here.


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