The next week will see some long time NFL vets clean out their lockers for one last time and some up and coming rookies move into their roster places. A smooth transition is key to creating a long time NFL career or a “one and done” disappointment.
The Football Educator has been pontificating for a comprehensive Player Development program that goes well beyond checking off the boxes at the annual Rookie Symposium. It appears that some of the negative headlines and perhaps internal pressure from former pros has influenced the NFL to look at the long term ramifications of rookie and player development.
I’ve seen a couple articles recently that reflect exactly what I’ve been writing about for well over the past three years. A report for ESPN The Magazine showed some very progressive steps by Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks in treating their players as the ASSETS that they are to the organization.
I’ve also found another website that I think is working to do the exact same thing in AccessAthletes.com. Founder Matthew Allinson sat down with former NFL star LaVar Arrington and interviewed him about the importance of maintaining focus as an NFL rookie.
Take heed youngsters, this is the opportunity of a lifetime! BTW, really cool site.
The Football Educator
LaVar Arrington Imparts His Wisdom on NFL Rookies: “Don’t Lose Focus”
Former three-time Pro Bowl NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington should be a model for how pro athletes can excel in their post-athletic careers. He is a popular sports journalist, a family man with young kids, and an entrepreneur who is on a crusade to develop the next generation of football players with his cutting edge training system that focuses on safety and the fundamentals. We previously profiled Arrington’s burgeoning company, Xtreme Procision, on Access Athletes.
Somehow, Arrington, the legendary Penn State All-American who was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, still finds the time to educate elite athletes. Last month he was a guest speaker at the NFL’s 16th annual Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio, marking the second straight year he was invited to share his story and advice to the league’s newest draftees. The four-day orientation introduces the rookies to life in the NFL by emphasizing the sport’s legacy, tradition of character and leadership, as well as social and professional responsibility. Whether he is speaking to incoming rookies or current college players as a respected broadcaster who has fine-tuned his public speaking skills, Arrington is able to captivate younger athletes with his words of wisdom.
As part of the NFL’s transition program, Arrington was recently certified as one of twelve “transition coaches” who will be working with former and current NFL players toward preventing some of the problems that frequently surface when it’s time to retire. For 8 months, LaVar underwent extensive training on career transition, mental health, suicide intervention, conflict resolution, and relationship-management skills.
Arrington spoke to Access Athletes about his advice for how rookies can make a successful transition to the NFL and maximize their careers, both on and off the field.
Matthew graduated from Penn State University first in his class with a double major in Labor Studies and Industrial Relations and Psychology. Following graduation, he spent a year in Kingston, Jamaica researching labor relations and political unionism as a Fulbright Scholar. Matthew then attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he obtained his J.D. with a concentration in labor law, intellectual property law, and sports and entertainment law.
He has worked for the NFL Players Association and several prominent sports professionals.
Matthew also works as a labor and entertainment attorney representing journalists.