Over the years I have seen and played with some of the most talented athletes on the planet. I am talking about Hall of Fame players, and people with rare God-given talent. Unfortunately, I have also seen some of these same people waste their talent and opportunity because they either did not prepare themselves off the field, or they felt the rules did not apply to them.
One of the worst things that can happen to an athlete is for them to be treated differently because of their talent. I went to high school in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and attended Detroit Country Day. I remember when I was getting recruited the preferential treatment that I and other players would receive in school. I remember getting pulled out of my history class to talk to the head coach of the University of Colorado! It was great to be recruited, but the message that was given was that my football career was more important than my education.
Even the applications I received from various colleges were different from my peers. Many schools that required an essay, waived the requirement for me, because I was an athlete. While on campus for my recruiting visit, very few schools took time to seriously talk about my education. Most of the emphasis is on sports, and what I could do on the field at the school, with little to no discussion about what I should prepare to be off of the field while I am there.
When parents, teachers, and recruiters stop emphasizing the importance of school and an education, it leaves a major void in the person and they are typically not ready for life during or after sports. Too many players struggle because school was something they did to play sports, not something they did to prepare them for life.
80% of NFL players end their careers broke! Why? Because they never learned the value of a dollar, and thought that money will always be there. Even worse, many athletes don’t know how to market themselves off of the field, because everything was given to them on it.
If you are an athlete, or helping to develop one, please push them just as hard off the field, as you support them on it!
Freddie Scott is a former NFL football player who played 4 seasons from 1996 – 1999. He played with the likes of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, as well as played for famous and Hall of Fame coaches such as Joe Paterno, Dan Reaves, and Jim Mora.
While at Penn State, Freddie set school records for most catches in a game (13), most touchdowns by a sophomore (9), and dawned the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1994.
Freddie is currently a Minister and Dean for a church in Nashville, TN, and does speaking engagements for organizations and youth nationally. He is also an entrepreneur who has partnered with doctors and former NFL players to educate people about health and wellness internationally.
For more information about suppliments that Freddi