Focus—it’s an understated quality for successful NFL players. Without it, how can you train as hard as you can in March when you have months until training camp? Successful players, heck—successful people, are able to focus on their end goal and continue working towards it no matter what.
It’s something that can be easier to talk about having than it is to actually have. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants to bring you that focus.
I’ve always been focused when it comes to my training and getting ready to play. But I haven’t been all that focused on life after football. Not that I expect to see my career come to an end anytime so. But when you’ve gone through some adversity, as I have with injuries, it forces you to think about post-career and what’s going to come next.
You start to realize there’s a big picture going on here and football can be taken away from you at any moment. So, to be better prepared for life after football, I started working on my MBA at Syracuse after last season ended.
I’ve talked to other players who are like, ‘You’re going back to get [a degree], man, that’s smart.’ Whether they didn’t finish, they want to go back and finish now. If they finished, but now they want to do the same thing and get further education. I think that’s what it’s about. When we have that opportunity, why wouldn’t you?
Honestly, now that I’m older, I care more than I did coming out of high school-- and I’m getting much more out of it. It’s my choice. If I’m being honest, I was a young kid coming out of high school, I’m tired of school, just want to play football, just want to enjoy college, just want to be a college kid who plays ball. That’s different now. This is something I want to do.
Fans don’t need to be worried. During the season, my focus is on football and doing what I can to be a better teammate and help the Vikings win a Super Bowl.
But I feel that my football career is not what I’ll be remembered for. I think I’ll be remembered for something different; something greater than a big game. I’m always looking for more and what more I can do.