Draft Weekend: 5 Things To Remember About the NFL
I cannot believe it's Draft Weekend again! This is such a fun time for so many people but for so many athletes and draft eligible players this is one of the most stressful times in their career.
Whatever happens I want all of the boys to remember that this weekend doesn't define you as a player. Just because someone's the first round draft pick, or the last guy signed in free-agency you all need to work just as hard to prove yourself. Obviously, from a business standpoint, they're going to give the first round draft pick more freedom of the reigns because they have money invested upfront, but all in all you have to go into the facilities every single day and prove yourself.
Below are 5 more things boys heading into the NFL (and the guys currently in it) need to constantly remember:
- Your contract is not, and will never be, 100% guaranteed. It doesn't matter if you've signed a one, three, or five year deal- you can be terminated at any time, and for any reason the team deems necessary.
- Show up. Stay quiet. Work hard. Most of you probably know this, but there's no joke in the saying The NFL means Not For Long. There's always a reminder that as soon as you're hired they're looking for the next best guy to beat you out. Work your ass off every day, because every day you're signed to a team is a great day. You have got to treat the NFL as it is- a business. You are an asset to the business/team you're on. Keep your eyes down, work really, really hard, and don't give them any reasons to fire you.
- All you have to do is impress the right person. This is one thing Pat always kept on his mind. One scout knows another scout, and likewise one coach knows another coach. Everyone starts at one team and they end up scattered throughout the NFL. The more people you impress the more help you'll have around the league. Be grateful for every opportunity and tryout call you get- show up prepared and know that that could be the day you impress someone who will remember you. - Pat
- Have fun- I turned to Pat on this one and asked him what else to add and he was quick to add have fun. He said, Every single day in the league is stressful- you're trying constantly to prove to your coach and teammates that you deserve to be on the team. It's like nature- you're trying to be the top dog- the best- you're trying to go in every day and be better than anyone else, and show the coaches you deserve the spot over anyone else. So, you have to slow down sometimes and remember how lucky you are --remember how fun it was when you were a kid, and try to make it that fun still. -Pat
- Don't give up. It took us three years of tryouts, contracts, and cuts before we got to play a regular season game. And even after that we were cut the following camp and didn't re-sign with a team until halfway through the season. If you want to play in the NFL you have to commit and never forget why and what you're working so hard for. I always knew I was good enough, it was a matter of finding the one person who liked me enough to hire me. I never let management or coaches get to me when they fired me. I got fired 8 times. I always walked away with a "watch me" attitude- like, if you don't think I'm good enough I'll go make another team. - Pat
Cheers to the 2017 season, for all of the dreams that will come true throughout the next few days, and for the boys undrafted who will work hard to clinch spots on a team this fall.
We hope this website offers you hope, inspiration, and a place that you can come if you ever have any questions about achieving your dreams of playing in the NFL. Chin up, you've got this!