Straight Talk From a Retired NFL Star
Brian Mitchell is going to give it to you straight. He had a wonderful 14-year career in the National Football League and, after that, he moved into a rewarding career in radio and television.
He’s seen some things in his time. The life of a professional football player is different from the lives most people lead. Lots of people envy the pro athletes, with the sports media fawning over them, with fans trying to get their autographs or photos, and with all kinds of people trying to get their attention for various business deals or other “opportunities.” And the money; don’t forget the money.
Brian became famous for playing a game. Football. This was possible for him because he was born fast. It’s not a skill he learned or bought, it was given to him. God gave him the talent and he worked extremely hard to use it to his highest ability.
When he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1990, he was very excited, proud and happy. Yet even from his first day of practice with the team, there were a number of things that he kept in mind:
- The career of a pro football player is short.
- He could get seriously injured at any time, ending his career unexpectedly.
- He would want to find another job, something he enjoyed, when he was finished playing ball.
- He wanted his parents to be proud of him and he wanted to be humble.
Brian always tried to treat everyone around him with courtesy and respect; he tried to interact with everybody the way he’d want to be treated.
These days, Brian also spends some time talking with various groups—high school and college athletes, pro athletes, and retired athletes. He also talks with business leaders because many of the lessons he’s learned and principles that he’s followed are beneficial to folks in the business world. One of the topics he likes to talk about is the importance of treating people well.
When Brian was playing in the NFL, sports journalists were always trying to get him and the other players to give interviews or make a comment. Some of his peers were unfriendly or even disrespectful to the journalists. However, he always tried to interact with them respectfully and give them what time he could.
And he’s glad he did. Since leaving the NFL, he’s begun working in television and radio. And some of the people he works with are the same ones who were asking for interviews when he was a player. When he was looking for post-playing opportunities, they remembered him as a cooperative and hardworking team player. He’s sure this helped him with the success he has today.
A lot of Brian’s peers in the NFL haven’t been successful with their finances. It’s hard, if you’re not used to having much money, to suddenly feel quite wealthy and learn to deal with that. And then one day you’re done playing and the money-flow suddenly shuts off. He’s seen a lot of the financial mistakes professional athletes make, and he uses his experience to help other athletes avoid the mistakes he’s seen.
And you’ve got to work hard. Brian was born with a gift—the gift of speed. But you know what? He’s not the only fast man in the world. Even when you’ve got a gift, a natural talent, you still need to work extremely hard to be the best that you can be.
If you’ve got a group of high school or college kids who want to be professional athletes, Brian is available to come and talk about his experiences and share his wisdom. If you have or want to get together a group of current pros, he’d love to share the dos and don’ts as he’s seen them and believes he can help with their futures. Brian talks with retired athletes—people like him—and offers advice about living in the real world. And he talks with business leaders because, as he’s said, lots of the lessons he’s learned and wisdom he holds has business applications.
If you’d like to contact Brian, you can email him at [email protected].
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