Kids preparing for a career in sports need to know what's down the road. Former Redskins player Brian Mitchell can offer some much-needed perspective.
Many of the kids who attend high school or college sports camps have stars—or, more accurately, dollar signs—in their eyes. They've heard all the stories about NBA or NFL prospects who have been drafted right out of high school or after their first or second year of college, and ink contracts with millions of dollars in signing bonuses. What many of these kids don't know—and what motivational speaker Brian Mitchell can help them to understand—is that most prospects don't ever make it into professional sports, and even those who do have to prepare for life off the playing field.
Mitchell knows the story himself, in detail. He grew up in modest means, the youngest of seven children, in a small town in Louisiana, and he had to fight and scrape for every bit of success he achieved. By the standards of the NFL, Mitchell's career was unusually long—13 years—and so he is uniquely positioned to warn young prospects about the numerous promising careers he has seen cut short by injury, arrogance, or a failure to perform.
What can Brian Mitchell possibly tell high school and college athletes that will make them sit up and listen? He teaches the importance of proper mindset, work ethic, and preparation before and after a career in professional sports. Mitchell touches on the following key points:
- It pays to be likable. Some professional sports stars are successful despite, and not because of, their brash attitudes and surliness toward the press, their fans, and even fellow players. A new signee who arrives with a negative attitude may find himself cut from the team before he's able to demonstrate his prowess.
- Sports aren't everything. True, if you're aiming to make the majors, you need to make sports front and center in your life. But if you're in high school or college, that doesn't mean you should skip your classes or not study for tests. Remember: The vast majority of prospects never make it into the pros, and the vast majority who do wind up having very short careers.
- One day, you'll be out of the limelight. Kids shouldn't build their sense of self-worth on how many times they're mentioned in Sports Illustrated. One day, probably sooner rather than later, their career in pro sports will be over—and if they've gotten too used to the rush of adulation and attention, they may slip into some bad habits when they're out of the public eye.
Brian Mitchell was once a teenaged NFL prospect himself, and he knows the mindset of the average teen who thinks he's on a collision course with destiny. Brian doesn't want to discourage kids from pursuing a career in sports. In fact, he believes you should make the best of the natural skills that God has given you. However, he does think it's crucial to remind teenagers, no matter how talented they are, that a career in sports is not the be-all and end-all of a life worth living. Call Brian at 703-434-0734 or email him at [email protected] to set up a speaking engagement today!