Being a professional athlete, you obviously exude confidence on and off the field/court. Can you talk to how your confidence was shaped growing up and throughout your early career?
"Confidence is everything. Nothing can be accomplished without believing in yourself. Early in my career I figured out the more I practiced something the better I would be at that. That became the foundation for me. Preparation. Preparation in my opinion is the foundation of confidence. Whether it was youth baseball, all the way up to playing for the Patriots. I knew if I had prepared for a certain moment, I was going to do well. "
Excelling to the level of professional athlete takes tremendous motivation, work ethic and sacrifice (along with talent!). How have you continued to stay focused on your goals and aspirations through the years? Do you have a strong support system you turn to?
"Trying to stay focused is as easy or as hard as you make it. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, and usually are a lot of fun. Sacrifice is something that every successful athlete has learned to do. Late nights, party weekends, drinking, and many more; those things are traded for long workouts, early mornings, hours of meetings, recovery. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do all of those things, but there is a time and a place. My support system is great. Family over everything. They want me to be happy and succeed, just as much as I want that for them and myself. "
Tell me about your work ethic, what’s a typical day like for you?
"A typical day with the Patriots went as followed. 6:30am-Arrive at the facility (hour and a half until our first mtg)
Have breakfast while watching film and taking notes on what is to come
Meeting with Head Coach about the day
Offense and Defense meetings
Special teams meetings
Post practice treatment and workout
Special teams meetings
Offense and Defense Meetings
Treatment on injuries
6:30-7pm Go home and prepare for tmrw
Treatment on body(massages, cold tub, sauna, stretch)
Hike or something active
What sacrifices have you made to accomplish your goals? Do you have any regrets? If you don’t regret anything, would you want to change anything or relive any moments in your life?
"I have made, along with a ton of other Professional athletes, many sacrifices. AS I said earlier, sacrifices are included in the job description. I regret nothing from playing sports, because thats what I wanted to do, and thats what it takes. As an athlete I wish I could spend more time with my son. "
What was the best piece of advice you ever received, why?
“You can’t win if you don’t keep from losing.“ Bill Belichick says this all the time. It has resonated with me in all aspects of life. If you don’t take care of what YOU can control and handle, what chance do you have at being successful/winning. There are so many challenges in life that if you don’t control what you can control, a lot of things won’t go your way.
How do you stay motivated after you have failed? How do you pick yourself up again?
"Failure shouldn’t be looked at as a fail. It should be a lesson, a learning experience. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Learn from it, why you failed, and do it again."
What was the hardest time in your life?Why? How did you overcome it?
"The hardest time in my life was losing my Grandpa to a heart attack my freshman year of college. He was the strongest man I knew. Blue collar and rough around the edges. But he got shit done and was filled with love, in his own way. The only thing that helped was time and being grateful for the positivity he brought into everybody I adored life."
How do get things done? Do you start by tackling the hardest tasks first or go for the easiest to gain momentum, building yourself up to tackle bigger challenges? Tell me about your process.
"Challenges are what fuel me. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Whatever it may be, the only way to learn how to swim is jump in the water. After I understand what IM getting into, I find the hardest thing to do. Once Im able to do that, I know I can get everything else done."
At the end of the day, hard work really does pay off. What was the most rewarding moment for you; tell me about the a time or times when you realized everything you did led to that specific moment, how did it feel?
"The most rewarding moment for me was coming back to Stanford football after playing in the minor leagues for a year. Winning the starting job, doing well, and most of all earning respect from all my peers, that I worked hard and was serious about it. The whole season was that moment, and it almost felt fake because just a year ago I had “Gave it up” and turned around to prove to myself I could still do it. "
Tell me something about you that no one knows?
"Can’t tell you that. That’s why nobody knows."
What do you do other than play football? What are some other interests you have?
"I played baseball, and may again someday. I absolutely love building things, mostly wood work. I just built a farmhouse table and can host a whole family on top of it for a dance party."