One of my biggest failures is not making an NFL team. I decided to pursue a career as a pro football player, which I achieved, but my ultimate goal was to make an NFL roster. I had an opportunity right in my hands, and I literally blew.
In Summer of 2012 I received contact from the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Excited as hell I couldn’t believe it. But at the same time I was ready to get busy because they both wanted to work me out.
If you’re not familiar with how it goes in the NFL for a free agent, basically your interview is a phone call and then they take you through a work out. You have to run a 40, shuttle drill, L drill, vertical, and position specific drills (this varies with different teams).
My first workout was with the New York Jets. I ran a 4.47 in the 40, did great in the rest of my drills, and my defensive of back drills were on point! The director of player personnel at the time said “we don’t have an immediate need right now for nickel corner… but if the situation changes and we’re looking to bring guys in.. I will certainly keep you in consideration.”
Although I was depending on my agent to follow up with him at the time, that didn’t end up going through. But no worries, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave me a phone call as well, and they wanted to bring me in for a workout at the beginning of October of 2012.
At the beginning of October Jacksonville Jaguars called me about 4 to 5 times asking me various questions making sure I was in shape etc. etc. I had been training like a mad man sprinting and doing everything I felt I needed to do to make sure that I was in the best shape. They flew me out to Jacksonville, I had my workout on the 8th of October….. and I blew it.
Although I worked out like a mad man, that was the problem. I had been listening to others that were in the NFL already or had been in the NFL, and instead of training like I normally do I began training like them.
The worst mistake to make is to try to be like someone else that’s already in the position that you’re wanting to be in. It’s like wanting to be a Billionaire and structuring my day like Mark Cuban. While he’s a great guy to model off of, he’s already in that position. I’m in the grind position. In other words, I didn’t keep being me, and doing what has always worked for me.
If I would’ve just been me, and train as always have, I would’ve performed out of this world; Signed my very first NFL contract, and accomplished my goal. What’s even crazier about the opportunity is that it was during season, so there was no training camp that I would’ve had to go through. They told me to “come in shape and be ready to play.” And. I. Blew it.
I had the opportunity to turn my dreams into reality, and not because of lack of preparation, but because of lack of staying true to myself, I missed that opportunity and never got another chance at it.
I’m not the kind of person to say that I don’t have regrets. I barely have any at all, but this damn sure is one of the few. And while I do use this as fuel now when running my business, and also as a boxer, it always reminds me to go back to being you. That’s what has helped me have the already success leading up to my goal.
The advice I always remind myself of, and tell others is to Keep Being You. And Keep Being a Better You.
My immediate words after writing this blog then reading it… “F*ck… That hurt.”